Aug 09 2015

34% of American Adults Diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome

Published by at 12:01 pm under probiotic supplements

Does altered gut bacteria play a role in metabolic syndrome?
With 34% of American adults diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, scientists are exploring the reason for this alarming increase and are finding altered gut bacteria may be a factor.


Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of risk factors that increase one’s propensity for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. When a person has three of the following conditions, they are considered to have metabolic syndrome:

High triglyceride levels (a type of fat found in the blood)

Large waistline

Blood sugar, tested while fasting, that is high

Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL0 cholesterol level1*

A person with metabolic syndrome is “…twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as the general population according to the National Institutes of health..”.1*

Approximately 34% of adults in America have this condition, with it becoming more and more common. This development is prompting researchers to look at the possible reasons and causes behind this shift in our collective health. And one of the areas they are exploring is our microbiome and whether altered gut microflora is at the core of this important health issue.1,2*

According to researchers at Georgia State University and Cornell University whose findings were published in the journal Gastroenterology, metabolic syndrome may be prevented, even treated by promoting healthy bacteria living in the intestine. The team did earlier research in which they found altered gut bacteria plays a part in metabolic syndrome, but the new research explains the mechanisms of how it works.1*

According to to Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University “…It’s the loss of TLR5 on the epithelium, the cells that line the surface of the intestine and their ability to quickly respond to bacteria. That ability goes away and results in a more aggressive bacterial population that gets closer in and produces substances that drive inflammation…”1,2*

Researchers demonstrated in a model of mouse siblings “…that the altered gut microbiota that promotes inflammation is more aggressive than other bacteria in infiltrating the epithelium…1*

“…Some of the mice in the study were missing theTLR5 gene, which the researchers found caused alterations in the inflammation-driving bacteria that promoted metabolic syndrome…1*

“…These results suggest that developing a means to promote a more healthy microbiota can treat or prevent metabolic disease… “explains Dr. Ruth Ley of the departments of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at Cornell.

“…They confirm the concept that altered microbiota can promote low-grade inflammation and metabolic syndrome and advance the underlying mechanism. We showed that the altered bacterial population is more aggressive in infiltrating the host and producing substances, namely flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, that further promote inflammation.”2

“…As well as promoting the inflammation that leads to metabolic syndrome, altered gut microbiota promotes chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.”1

A report from Medical News Today showed research that following a Mediterranean diet with nuts and olive oil may “reverse metabolic syndrome..” They study involved participants who followed a low fat diet or a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil for an average of 4.8 years. “…The participants who followed the Mediterranean diets experienced a reduction in blood glucose levels and abdominal obesity. At the start of the study, 64% of participants had metabolic syndrome. However, by the end of the study, 28.2% of the participants following Mediterranean diets no longer met the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome…”1

This information supports our discussion last week on which diet is best for your health!

Next week, we will look further at metabolic syndrome and a food additive which may increase our risk for developing it and for gaining weight..  

Until next week, healthiest wishes!




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