The Power of the Gut (pt 3) : Natural Supplements That Combat Metabolic Syndrome

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natural supplements for metabolic syndrome

To round off this series, we will explore the role that gut microbiota plays in the development of metabolic syndrome. But first, what is metabolic syndrome?

Not to be mistaken for a disease, metabolic syndrome is actually a cluster of distinct health risk factors that include:

  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • abdominal fat.

This group of risk factors can increase an individual’s chances of developing heart disease, having a heart attack or stroke, or developing diabetes.

Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Syndrome

natural supplements for metabolic syndromeWhile it’s widely known that diet and lifestyle are some of the biggest contributors to metabolic syndrome, recent studies suggest that gut microbiota plays a big role as well. This diverse ecosystem of trillions of different microorganisms has a profound effect on human metabolism, shaping the chemical and biological environments of our digestive system. In addition, studies have shown that it may be a potential contributor to several features of metabolic syndrome. For example, scientists have carried out experiments comparing conventional mice with germ-free mice colonized with human bowel flora. These studies indicate that the gut microbiota is involved in the circulation of bile acids and fat metabolism — major factors of the development of obesity.

In addition, these studies have found that microbial elements, mainly short chain fatty acids, regulate several of the body’s metabolic functions, energy absorption and appetite. As you can see, there’s little room for doubt that these little bacteria in our gut play a pretty important part in our bodies.

binge eating junk food while watching tvParticularly when it comes to weight and health management, the gut microbiota’s link to caloric absorption and fat storage is especially important. Of course, it’s certainly not the only factor (if only it were that easy!). Rather, it is all of these factors — diet, lifestyle, hormones, and these seemingly mysterious bacteria — that can influence the body’s internal systems. This, in turn, indicates the health risks of developing metabolic syndrome. Remember: all systems in the body are interconnected. What you put into your body is what you get out.

Supplements to Improve the Gut and Help Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

So, how can we prevent or manage metabolic syndrome?

turmericThere is one strategy worth mentioning.  Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb with many beneficial factors. First, it can directly reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome by allowing healthy bacteria to flow harmoniously throughout the gut. It also aids in digestion, allowing for maximum nutrient absorption while improving the body’s ability to digest fats. Not only that, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties also help to lower blood pressure. When it comes to metabolic syndrome and the conditions that compose it, turmeric can be a great strategy for finding balance within the gut and leading a healthy, comfortable life. Learn more about turmeric here.

Another common herb that can help ward off the symptoms of metabolic syndrome: Cinnamon. People with metabolic syndrome can struggle with their insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon has been found to safely and effectively boost this, meaning that they are able to function better with normal levels of insulin and suffer less from high blood sugar.  Cinnamon has also been found to lower cholesterol in people with Type II diabetes. In addition, many people already have cinnamon in their cupboards! For many folks, one to two teaspoons a day can be all it takes to begin regulating insulin and cholesterol levels.

Recognize Risk Factors, Makes Changes for Better Health

what is metabolic syndrome?

When it comes to metabolic syndrome, it is important to recognize the risk factors. Many people may actually have one or two of its typical symptoms. To be formally diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you would most likely need to have most or all of the main indicators:

  • high blood pressure
  • excessive belly fat
  • high blood sugar
  • unhealthy cholesterol levels

However, having any of the symptoms is still cause for concern. They could potentially be indicators for future problems.

Many of us are deep into the holiday season, and we all know too well how easy it is to overindulge. However, including turmeric or cinnamon as a supplement, or within our meals are a great place to start to combat that holiday bloat! First, they get to work right away, helping your body with nutrient absorption and digestion. Simultaneously, they also begin helping your organs move toward better health in the long run. Reducing these risk factors and improving your gut health can help you prevent metabolic syndrome and greatly improve your quality of life.

Have you incorporated cinnamon or turmeric into your nutritional regimen? Do you have questions or advice about how to take care of your gut health? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out Power of the Gut parts 1 and 2.

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