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What You NEVER Knew About Metabolic Syndrome

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES


Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors, that when present together, raise your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Commonly referred to as Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome is a common condition that affects a majority of people in the US and around the world.

Two very important factors related to Metabolic Syndrome are: people who are overweight and carry fat around their midsection and upper parts of their body, and people suffering from insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is when your body becomes resistant to insulin, therefore, your body releases more insulin to try to move the sugar from your blood into the working muscle groups.  This could lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

However, Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown, in some studies, to provide improvements in some of the symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.

In fact, a new study published in the Journal of Physiology, shows that by including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you could improve cognitive function that can become impaired due to metabolic syndrome.

Let me explain…

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Metabolic Syndrome, and Your Brain

Researchers wanted to determine the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on the brain in people suffering from metabolic syndrome.

They also looked at the potential mechanism by which metabolic syndrome impacts the synaptic plasticity and the overall effects on cognition.

The researchers noted that high fructose consumption can lead to increased insulin resistance, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels, which can also further complicate the health of people who suffer from metabolic syndrome.

They showed that mice fed an omega-3 fatty acid deficient diet, exhibited memory deficits when trying to complete a maze.

They also showed that a high fructose diet disrupted insulin receptor signaling in the hippocampus and decreased phosphorylation of insulin receptors.

They also noted that an omega-3 deficient diet disrupted the membrane homeostasis, which they showed increased the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.   Plus it could also increase 4-hydroxynonenal, which is a potent molecule necessary for lipid peroxidation.

Omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to increase inflammation levels in the body, which could increase your risk for developing chronic diseases.

The researchers noted that an omega-3 deficient diet, in combination with high fructose levels, could lead to altered brain metabolism by decreasing AMPK phosphorylation and decreasing levels of Sir1.

When it came to evaluating synaptic plasticity, they showed that an omega-3 deficient diet in combination with a high fructose diet led to a decrease in the phosphorylation of CREB, synapsin I, and synaptophysin.

By decreasing the activity of these molecules, this showed different metabolic dysfunctions, which could lead to a decrease in synaptic plasticity.

When they reversed the diet (omega-3 RICH diet), they showed that all parameters of metabolic syndrome was eliminated by the introduction of omega-3 fatty acids.

From their results, the researchers concluded that a diet deficient in omega-3 fatty acids increases the vulnerability to metabolic dysfunction and impaired cognitive functions.

Although this research is very new and needs further verification, it could show promise for people who suffer from metabolic syndrome.  

However, more testing needs to be done before omega-3 fatty acids could be considered as a treatment option for metabolic syndrome.

More Great News About Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have gained popularity for the many health benefits it could provide.

It has been shown to improve eye health, cognitive function in older adults, and even improve strength in the elderly.

However, the main reason for the use of omega-3 fatty acids has been for improving heart health.

Now, according to this study, omega-3 fatty acids could play an integral role in curbing the negative effects that metabolic syndrome can have on the brain.

Including more omega-3 rich foods into your daily plan could provide many positive benefits to your health.


NEXT: Even More Amazing Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids >>


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References:

Agrawal, R.  Gomez-Pinilla, F.  “Metabolic syndrome” in the brain: Deficiency in omega-3-fatty acid exacerbate dysfunction in insulin receptor signaling and cognition.  The Journal of Physiology.  2012.  doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230078.