New Clues About What Triggers Metabolic Syndrome
A new study indicates that overeating, rather than the obesity it causes, is the trigger for the development of metabolic syndrome—a collection of heath risk factors that increases an individual’s chances of developing insulin resistance, fatty liver, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. What’s more, how and where the body stores excess, unused calories appears to matter most when determining a person’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
This is among the first studies to suggest that weight gain is an early symptom of pre-metabolic syndrome, rather than a direct cause. “People who are obese or overweight are on the road to developing metabolic syndrome unless they stop overeating. Sooner or later, it will happen,” said Dr. Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, in a prepared statement.
“We’re ingrained to think obesity is the cause of all health problems, when in fact it is the spillover of fat into organs that damages these organs, such as the heart and the liver,” said Dr. Unger. “Depositing fatty molecules in fat cells where they belong actually delays that harmful spillover.”
In addition, this study complements earlier findings by diabetes researchers at UT Southwestern that suggest that it’s not the amount of body fat, but where it is stored in the body that appears to matter most to health. “It’s best to eat only what you need to replace the energy you burn,” Dr. Unger said. “But, if you eat more than you need, as most Americans do, it’s better for the surplus calories to end up in the fat cells than in the rest of the body because fat cells are designed specifically for fat storage. You won’t be as trim, but you’ll be healthier.”
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Currently about 50 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome. While its exact cause is unknown, obesity and lack of exercise are considered to be the primary contributors to its development. Make sure that you don’t become a part of that statistic: keep your calorie consumption in check and exercise regularly so that you don’t gain excess weight.
QUICK TIP: You can battle metabolic syndrome with exercise. Learn More
Written exclusively for Stop Aging Now, the authority on anti-aging research, anti-aging nutrition, and anti-aging supplements.