Metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X, is a poorly understood condition in which several cardiovascular disease risk factors develop in a single person. These include:
- Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen.)
- Unhealthy cholesterol profile (some elements of the following: low HDL ("good") cholesterol, high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and high triglycerides)
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance (either frank type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes)
- Prothrombotic state (increased risk of blood clots)
- Proinflammatory state (elevated levels of c-reactive protein, associated with increased rate of hardening of the arteries)
All of these risk factors are separately associated with an increased rate of
Metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States; according to the American Heart Association, as many as 50 million Americans may have it.
Abdominal obesity leads directly to
The first signs of insulin resistance include high levels of insulin in the body, impaired glucose tolerance, and disturbances in
It has also been suggested that deficiency of the mineral
Another preliminary placebo-controlled study tested a proprietary extract of freshwater algae in 60 people with the syndrome and found some evidence of overall benefit.
1. Metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association webiste. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4756 . Accessed October 15, 2006.
3. Oben J, Enonchong E, Kuate D, et al. The effects of ProAlgaZyme novel algae infusion on metabolic syndrome and markers of cardiovascular health. Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print]
7. Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, et al. Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006;3:45-53.
Last reviewed September 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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