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Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a broad term typically utilised to describe numerous abnormalities that are triggered by a high intake of refined carbohydrates/sugars in individuals who are genetically predisposed to blood sugar irregularities. The underlying metabolic factor in Metabolic Syndrome is elevated insulin levels, which result from a high intake of refined carbohydrates coupled with insulin resistance (cells that respond poorly to the effects of insulin).

The most important strategy is to achieve and maintain weight loss (if overweight) as it decreases insulin resistance and improves blood glucose levels. You don’t have to achieve ideal body weight to improve control of blood glucose, hypertension, and lipid levels. Loss of as few as 4.5 to 9 kg will be helpful, but the weight loss must then be maintained and exercise programs must be continued.

Numerous reports of individuals with Metabolic Syndrome confirm that it is a disease of diet and lifestyle. Important considerations include: dietary Intake high in refined carbohydrates; dietary intake high in GI (Glycaemic Indexed) and GL (Glycaemic Load) foods; insufficient dietary fibre to modify glycaemic index/glycaemic load; high dietary intake of saturated and trans fatty acids; low intake of antioxidant nutrients; excessive free radicals and pro-oxidants (increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS)); and lack of exercise.

Several well-designed, large trials have shown that lifestyle and dietary modifications can be used to effectively prevent and treat metabolic syndrome. Clinical experience indicates that if patients can be encouraged to exercise frequently they can avoid most medications and reverse their blood sugar fluctuations.

The most important nutrient to assist here is Chromium as it is required for the uptake of insulin into the cells as it stimulates a number of enzymes involved in insulin signalling, thus potentiating the action of insulin. Supplemental sources are best and focus on yeast free preparations where possible.