Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome

The term “metabolic syndrome” was coined in the 1980s. It is a condition that is associated with a constellation of factors for plaque buildup in the blood vessels and type 2 diabetes. These factors include elevated fasting glucose levels, elevated triglycerides, reduced good cholesterol (HDL), high bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and central obesity.1 The incidence of metabolic syndrome has reached epidemic proportions, with nearly 35% of all US adults and 50% of those age 60 years and older estimated to have metabolic syndrome in a 2015 report.2 It is characterized by decreased responsiveness in the tissues to appropriate circulating levels of insulin.3

The cause of metabolic syndrome is related to genetics, nutrient deficiencies, and metabolic defects. Lifestyle and environmental factors are also believed to play a role.4 To this end, chronic low-grade inflammation resulting from foods, environmental exposures, hormone imbalances, etc. has been linked to metabolic syndrome. 5 Environmental toxins include bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins and is primarily found in food and beverage containers. BPA has been used commercially since 1957 with more than 90% of US residents estimated to have detectable levels in their urine.6

Regular exercise is a vital component of a holistic medical treatment plan and has been shown to reduce incidence of metabolic syndrome by half.7 Patients are advised to partake in 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic workouts at least 5 times per week. In terms of nutrition, the Mediterranean diet has shown a lot of promise due in large part to it discouraging intake of refined carbohydrates and its emphasis on vegetables, legumes, fish, and essential fatty acids.8

It would also benefit patients to become well acquainted with the glycemic index, a system of classifying carbohydrate-containing foods based on the body’s response. Carbohydrates range from simple sugars to starches, and they can all be converted to glucose. The rate at which conversion occurs is determined by the chain length of the saccharide, with longer chains constituting complex carbohydrates. Starchy foods have a high glycemic index which means they are more readily converted to glucose in the body; non-starchy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes rank low on the glycemic index.9 Low glycemic index foods prevent insulin surges that commonly occur following a meal. Having a stable insulin level prevents development of sensitization to insulin.

Supplements that have shown some promise in addressing metabolic syndrome include vitamins B610, B1211, C12, D13, folic acid14, magnesium15, zinc16, alpha lipoic acid17, coenzyme Q1018, and omega-3 fatty acids.19

Let us at Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine develop a package specific to your needs based on your unique biological profile.

  1. Y. Jimenez-Gomez, C. Marin, P. Peerez-Martinez, et al.: A low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet supplemented with long-chain (n-3) fatty acids alters the postprandial lipoprotein profile in patients with metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 140(9):1595-1601 2010
  2. M. Aguilar, T. Bhuket, S. Torres, B. Liu, R.J. Wong: Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012. JAMA. 313 (19):1973-1974 2015
  3. G. Sesti: Pathophysiology of insulin resistance. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab.20 (4):665-679 2006
  4. R.A. DeFronzo: Lilly lecture 1987. The triumvirate: beta-cell, muscle, liver. A collusion responsible for NIDDM. Diabetes. 37 (6):667-687 1988
  5. J.C. Pickup: Inflammation and activated innate immunity in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 27 (3):813-823 2004
  6. C. Sabanayagam, S. Teppala, A. Shankar: Relationship between urinary bisphenol A levels and prediabetes among subjects free of diabetes. Acta Diabetol. 50 (4):625-6312013
  7. J.I. Mann, D.C. Tipene-Leach, H.L. Pahau, et al.: Insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism in a predominantly maori community. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 72(1):68-74 2006
  8. M. Georgoulis, M.D. Kontogianni, A. Margariti, et al.: Associations between dietary intake and the presence of the metabolic syndrome in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015
  9. D.S. Ludwig: The glycemic index: physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. JAMA. 287 (18):2414-2423 2002
  10. T. Inubushi, T. Takasawa, Y. Tuboi, N. Watanabe, K. Aki, N. Katunuma: Changes of glucose metabolism and skin-collagen neogenesis in vitamin B6 deficiency. BioFactors (Oxford, England). 23 (2):59-67 2005
  11. D. Baltaci, A. Kutlucan, Y. Turker, et al.: Association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and body fat composition; primary care-based study. Med Glas (Zenica). 10 (2):203-210 2013
  12. E.S. Ford, A.H. Mokdad, W.H. Giles, D.W. Brown: The metabolic syndrome and antioxidant concentrations: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Diabetes. 52 (9):2346-2352 2003
  13. G.J. Fung, L.M. Steffen, X. Zhou, et al.: Vitamin D intake is inversely related to risk of developing metabolic syndrome in African American and white men and women over 20 y: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. Am J Clin Nutr. 96(1):24-29 2012
  14. M.P. Schneider, M.P. Schlaich, J.M. Harazny, et al.: Folic acid treatment normalizes NOS-dependence of vascular tone in the metabolic syndrome. Obesity. 19 (5):960-9672011
  15. M. Barbagallo, L.J. Dominguez: Magnesium metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006
  16. C.G. Taylor: Zinc, the pancreas, and diabetes: insights from rodent studies and future directions. Biometals. 18 (4):305-312 2005
  17. D. Konrad: Utilization of the insulin-signaling network in the metabolic actions of alpha-lipoic acid-reduction or oxidation?. Antioxid Redox Signal. 7 (7-8):1032-10392005
  18. F.L. Crane: Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J Am Coll Nutr. 20 (6):591-5
  19. D. Tousoulis, A. Plastiras, G. Siasos, et al.: Omega-3 PUFAs improved endothelial function and arterial stiffness with a parallel antiinflammatory effect in adults with metabolic syndrome. Atherosclerosis. 232 (1):10-16 2014