Posted on: August 16th, 2022

Metabolic syndrome can be an indicator that some dangerous health conditions may be headed a person’s way. Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of at least three of the following: elevated blood glucose, higher waist circumference indicating visceral fat or VAT, high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL-C).  Metabolic syndrome is important to recognize because it can eventually lead to:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Disease

These are the most common reasons for morbidity and mortality in the United States. Thankfully, recognizing the health factors involved in metabolic syndrome can mitigate the risk a person has of developing these chronic medical conditions.

What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

According to Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is primarily associated with inactivity, overweight, and obesity, and is also linked to insulin resistance, meaning insulin has more trouble getting to the bloodstream and/or into the cells that need it. Therefore, diet plays an important role in both preventing and managing metabolic syndrome.

Risk factors for metabolic syndrome not related to diet and weight include:

  • Age. The risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. People of Hispanic descent, especially women, are more at risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Preexisting Conditions. Diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, and other medical conditions are all risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome.

Conditions Associated with Metabolic Syndrome

There are many health risks and conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. Two of them, however, have a much higher risk of developing due to metabolic syndrome.

  • Heart & Blood Vessel Disease. Metabolic syndrome can lead to less flexible blood vessels. Together with high levels of bad cholesterol, this can lead to blockages in your arteries. The buildups are made of plaque and can lead to heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.
  • Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin resistance, which is associated with metabolic syndrome, directly leads to type 2 diabetes if weight and other factors are left untreated.

Probiotics & Metabolic Syndrome

Recent research has been studying the effects of probiotics on developing metabolic syndrome. Specifically, the relationship between probiotics and weight/overall health has gained recent interest and is directly related to the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Other research has focused on how probiotics can affect people who already have metabolic syndrome. Probiotic intake in patients with metabolic syndrome has shown improvements in:

  • Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Blood Pressure Levels
  • Metabolic Performance
  • Glucose Levels

Research has improved over the past few years due to the diversity of probiotic data that is now available. And while these results are good, they have been noted to not be nearly as effective as taking the correct medication or living an active/healthy lifestyle.

The good news is that the positive data has led to more research into which types of probiotics (and pre/postbiotics) are the most effective when it comes to preventing or mitigating the effects of metabolic syndrome. Therefore, in the future, specific probiotics that are more effective may be identified. 

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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