Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome and how do I know if I have it?

Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

If you have three or more of the following you have Metabolic Syndrome:

  • Fasting blood glucose level of 107 mg/dl or more (insulin resistance)
  • “Good” HDL cholesterol level of 40 mg/dl or less for a male and 50 mg/dl or less for a female
  • Blood triglycerides level of 150 mg/dl or higher
  • Waist circumference of more than 40” for a male and 35” for a female
  • Overweight
  • Taking medication for high blood pressure
  • Taking medication for high blood sugar.

Having one of these symptoms does not mean you have Metabolic Syndrome. However, having one will increase your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Having three or more of these factors will result in a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome. Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have.

Other factors that can increase your risk for Metabolic Syndrome, include:

  • Age
  • Family history of Metabolic Syndrome
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Insulin resistance, just one of the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome, will predispose a person to blood sugar issues, and is associated with cardiovascular mortality, kidney dysfunction, deterioration of the retina, neuropathy, and being overweight.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy.

Aside from a large waist circumference, most of the disorders associated with Metabolic Syndrome have little or no symptoms.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) warns that health consequences from Metabolic Syndrome are more severe today than previously recognized by the medical community.

What are the statistics regarding Metabolic Syndrome?

New scientific studies show that Metabolic Syndrome and its related health issues are growing rapidly worldwide:

Every 5 seconds a person is diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome


Every 30 seconds someone loses a limb to Metabolic Syndrome


Every 10 seconds somebody dies from a metabolic health issue


In addition, 50% of children born from 2010 on will have some form of Metabolic Syndrome.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that 23 percent of adults currently have Metabolic Syndrome, however other sources suggest the figure is higher than that.

How did we get here?

So, how did we get to this point where so many people have Metabolic Syndrome, or insulin resistance?

Metabolic Syndrome is a metabolic disorder. This means it is a disorder of our metabolism. Metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism.

When your metabolism is working as it should the result is healthy cells, tissues and body. It means being able to enjoy an energetic life. When your metabolism dysfunctions, it means struggling with a body that can’t perform as it should leading to degenerative disease and chronic illness.

Much of how we have arrived at this point, can be explained by the lifestyle changes that have taken place, some over a long period of time, and some more recently.

Our ancestors primarily ate plants, roots, meat, complex carbs and fat. The human body developed to burn fat as fuel for energy. About eight thousand years ago the “agricultural revolution” took place, with man learning how to grow grain. Virtually overnight, man became dependent upon carbohydrates as the main source of food. This represented a major change in diet.

Since World War 2, this focus on carbohydrates has become even worse with our diets consisting of more:

  • Simple carbohydrates
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Food and drinks in cans and bottles with known hormone disruptors.

In addition, many people live a much more sedentary life that our ancestors. Without cars, they were forced to walk and most work involved a lot of physical activity so they had regular exercise just in the course of daily living. That is not true for the majority of people today.

4 Main Causes of Degenerative Disease

An important point to consider is that there are 4 main causes of metabolic disorder leading to degenerative disease:

  • Genetics
  • Gut Flora
  • Inflammation
  • Degradation of the mitochondria (the energy generators in every cell)

By addressing these issues, you can minimize your risk of developing degenerative diseases and chronic illnesses.


What can you do?

If you believe you have Metabolic Syndrome, your goal should be to reduce your risk of developing further health complications.
If you only have one of the symptoms, you will want to prevent developing any more.

In both circumstances, the solution is to take actions that will cause your metabolism (cells) to revert back to functioning as they should to support maintaining a healthy waist circumference, and normal blood glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests it is possible to prevent or delay Metabolic Syndrome, mainly with lifestyle changes.

Addressing the 4 main causes of metabolic disorder leading to degenerative disease is possible:

1. Genetics

While we are born with particular genetics, the way our genes express themselves can be positively affected through targeted nutrition.

2. Gut Flora

Gut flora (the bacteria in the digestive tract) can be successfully protected through diet and probiotics.

3. Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the body can be reduced by diet, and supplements containing anti-inflammatory substances such as polyphenols.

4. Degradation of the mitochondria

A substance, such as PQQ, pyrroloquinoline quinone, is known to promote the growth and division of pre-existing mitochondria, thereby creating more energy in the cells.

Diet, Exercise and Nutritional Support are the Key

The lifestyle changes that will help Metabolic Syndrome can include changing your diet. In particular, eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fat. This will support a healthy metabolism and weight loss. In 2001 the World Health Organization published a World Health Report titled “Technical Series Report 916” and on page 42 it states, “We all should eat a diet consistent with the diet our genes became programmed to respond to.” As mentioned earlier, our genes became programmed to response to plants, roots, meat, complex carbs and fat. More diet information can be found on the “Insulin Resistance” page.


“Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease modifying tools available to practitioners – more powerful than any drugs or surgeries.”

Dr. Robert Weiss


Exercise is also important. Regular physical activity will reduce your blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. The key is to try to maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program or radically changing your diet.

If you do smoke, it’s a good idea to quit.

Nutritional Supplements

The results of a study with 3,331 men and women showed that daily consumption of a whole functional food supplement reduces your risk of ending up in the hospital by 50%.

The future of nutritional science lies with supporting the major body systems simultaneously. Supplements should be natural, plant-based nutrition with ingredients that are specifically selected to address metabolic disorders. They must provide targeted nutrition at the cellular level and support all of the body’s systems.

The outlook for people with Metabolic Syndrome is positive if the symptoms are managed.