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Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) has been extensively researched for many years and different organizations added a pathological condition to it. Currently Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is characterized as the presence of a cluster of three or more pathological conditions out of five – abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL levels, hyperglycemia and high blood pressure. It is called by different names – Dysmetabolic Syndrome, Hypertriglyceridemic waist, Insulin Resistance Syndrome, Obesity Syndrome and Syndrome X.

Historically it was only associated with abdominal obesity. Currently after extensive research the genetic composition, adipose tissue inflammation and the environmental factors have been established as the triggers of the (MetS). The number of people suffering from (MetS) is escalating because of an upsurge in the obesity levels and lack of physical activity. Abdominal obesity leads to the increasing deposition of visceral fat around the abdominal region and the surrounding organs. This increased visceral fat deposition initiates a cascade of chemical secretions as well as the generation of free radicals resulting in chronic inflammation, decreased insulin secretion, increase in the triglyceride levels and reduced uptake of glucose by the muscles and the liver. This state of chronic inflammation impacts the liver and the intestine resulting in their dysfunction and organ damage eventually.

In today’s times the food supply chain is heavily contaminated with various kinds of pesticides. DDE (derivative of DDT) has an affinity for binding with the fat cells. Research studies done across various populations have shown a positive correlation between these chemicals and the risk of developing obesity, imbalance of the endocrine system as well as type 2 diabetes.

The composition of the microbiome in the gut is highly influenced by changes in the diet a person eats. A high sugar and fat diet alters the microbiome leading to the trigger of the inflammatory mechanism.

Management of the (MetS) involves modifications in the lifestyle as well as in the diet. Exercising regularly along with a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts along with a decreased intake of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats will be helpful in the management of hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and obesity. Various nutraceutical foods like curcumin, ginger, cinnamon, neem, rosemary, oregano, green tea and resveratrol from grapes has proven to be beneficial in the management of (MetS) however more robust evidence is needed.

Metabolic syndrome is a global pandemic and it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Early diagnosis of the associated conditions and their effective management will help in improving the lifestyle of the people as well as instill a positive mental outlook towards life.   

The Vitality Tips

1. Eat a Whole Food, Plant-based Diet along with less intake of red meat, saturated and trans fat.

2. Increase dietary fiber to decrease the LDL cholesterol synthesis.

3. A reduction in caloric intake by 350-500 calories/day for effective weight loss.

4. Working out a combination of exercises –aerobic plus strength training or circuit training regularly for about 30-45 minutes for 3-4 times in a week will be useful for the effective management of hypertension as well as hyperglycemia.

5. High risk diabetic or hypertensive patients should always consult a doctor before they start the exercise regime. They should begin slowly and gradually increase in duration and intensity.

6. Consult a doctor for medications if the lifestyle management does not help.