What is Metabolic Syndrome
What causes Cancer.
Below is the National Cancer Institutes' chart with it's consensus of Avoidable and Unavoidable Environmental Factors.
Is cancer preventable? In a word YES! But you need to understand what it is, how it works and what you can do early on to change course.
Most Doctors, if they are honest, will tell you that people have a large part in setting themselves up for the dreaded cancer diagnosis. As you can see from the diagram on the left, 2/3's of all cancers are caused by what you put in your mouth, smoking and eating. We've known about the smoking part since Dr. C. Everett Koop put warnings labels on cigarette packs in 1964. But what you may not know is that metabolic syndrome is the slightly greater cause of developing cancer statistically.
"Metabolic Syndrome" is more a concept for many diseases and has become catch all phrase. There is not one standard definition for your Metabolic Profile, different professional organizations have different criteria which they use. The National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP) classically define it as a cluster of five chronic conditions. (Obesity, diabetes, lipid problems such as high triglyceride and low HDL, hypertension, cardiovascular disease), any or all of which increase your chance of early death. The NCEP states that if you've got three of the five, you've got metabolic syndrome. This isn't a definition. It should only be considered a spectrum of diseases and not all the diseases hit each person.
My doctor never said the words "Metabolic Syndrome" to me in so many words. I was on statins and fibrates (for lipid problems), had swollen hands and painful knees (from chronic inflammation) my middle was shaped like an apple (indicating visceral fat) and I was stuck at 133lbs no matter how many miles I ran (which most days was 5 miles on my tread mill). I know now that I had 3 out of 5 symptoms. My body was trying to tell me something and I was trying to do everything that I was told as far as diet was concerned. I was on a very low fat, low cholesterol, calorie restricted diet of mostly 'healthy' carbs (1200 calories a day) and I stayed away from sugary foods and lived on Greek, fat free, sugar free yogurt that I added my own fruits or vegetables to. Little did I know that by following this advise I had turned my body into a cancer incubator and my diagnosis was just around the corner.
How Insulin Resistance Becomes Metabolic Syndrome
You don't have to be obese to have metabolic syndrome. After all, up to 40 percent of normal-weight adults have it! Obesity is a "marker" for metabolic syndrome, but not the only marker; it is not the cause. Whether it resides in fat people or not, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that insulin resistance is the hallmark of metabolic syndrome. And thin people can be insulin resistant, too, (are you a TOFI?)1. But how? And where? And why does the body become insulin resistant? Here is one postulated scheme by which metabolic syndrome occurs:
1. Metabolic syndrome starts as your body accumulates energy, storing it in the liver and in visceral fat tissue. This makes the liver insulin resistant, which starts metabolic dysfunction-a detrimental cascade of effects that damages every organ in the body.
2. Liver insulin resistance causes the liver to transport energy improperly. The pancreas responds by increasing insulin release to make the liver do its job. This drives insulin levels even higher (hyperinsulinemia), which causes further energy deposition in to subcutaneous fat tissue and causes the persistent weight gain that drives obesity.
3. The liver tries to export the excess fat as triglycerides, to be stored in the subcutaneous fat tissue. The blood lipids rise to drive dyslipidemia2, one of the risk factors for heart disease.
4. The high insulin acts on blood vessels, causing the smooth muscle cells that surround each blood vessel to grow more rapidly than normal. This process tightens the artery walls and promotes high blood pressure.
5. The combination of insulin resistance, lipid problems, and high blood pressure wreaks havoc throughout the body. This promotes cardiovascular disease, which can result in heart attacks or stroke.
6. The fat in the liver causes inflammation, which drives further insulin resistance. Eventually the liver can scar, which results in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (this for all intents and purposes is the same as fatty liver caused by alcohol abuse). This can later progress to cirrhosis.
7. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia in women can drive the ovary to make extra testosterone and reduce estrogen, resulting in polycystic ovarian syndrome3, hirsutism (excess body hair), and infertility.
8. As the liver insulin resistance gets worse and the body fat grows, the pancreas has to make more insulin. Eventually the pancreatic beta-cells can't keep up with body's requirements, which leads to a relative insulin deficiency. Eventually the beta-cells fail, precipitating type 2 diabetes.
9. Insulin is one of the hormones that cause cells to divide. Hyperinsulinemia is associated with the development and growth of various forms of cancer.
10.There is early evidence, although by no means proven, that insulin resistance in the brain leads to dementia.
Basically, the various diseases of metabolic syndrome are where virtually all our health care dollars are going.
Dr. Lustig continues to tell us that, "There's no drug target to stop this process." We have medicines that treat the down stream outcomes like statins and fibrates for lipid problems; antihypertensives to reduce blood pressure; insulin and other hypoglycemic agents to treat diabetes; loads of drugs to make the heart beat better; vitamin E and Metformin for fatty liver; dialysis and transplantation for chronic kidney disease; various chemotherapies once you get cancer; and some moderately effective Alzheimer drugs. "But your mitochondria are still screwed."
He will tell you that the easiest and most rational approaches are preventive. And the answer is...Modify your diet!
1.TOFI- Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside. (People who appear to have normal body weight but who are carrying around hidden layers of fat stored up around vital organs.)
2.Dyslipidemia is abnormal lipid metabolism. It is very common among people with Type 2 diabetes, and most frequently involves increased levels of triglycerides, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
3.Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes.