If you want to lead a superhuman life, you have to
first take on the devil – metabolic syndrome – by its horns.
By Sajeev Nair
A good portion of
my new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’ is dedicated to explaining the
complex ways in which metabolic syndrome – a collection of interrelated
diseases or conditions – destroy our health and how you can win this most
is truly diabolic in its omnipresent influence. If you thought Covid-19 was the
worst disease to have emerged ever, take this straight – without the metabolic
syndrome aiding and abetting it, Covid-19 would never have been this serious.
worldwide have awakened to this fact, and that is why we see a resurgence in
metabolic syndrome research these days. Today, I will explain a few of these
latest findings on this beast that will help you understand what you are up
against and how you can prevail against it.
is a cluster of correlated conditions like obesity, excess abdominal fat, insulin
resistance, excess blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess triglycerides and
cholesterol, and chronic and systemic inflammation. Having this cluster, or at
least a few of them, raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke
etc as well as contribute to several other diseases.
Now, a new US
study has shown that metabolic syndrome and especially one of its defining components,
obesity, is a major risk factor for developing complications from Influenza-A
as well as Covid-19. Both are viral diseases and Influenza Type A is the most
common and most risky type of flu.
This study by
researchers at St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, found that obesity increases physical
breathing difficulties due to excess pressure on diaphragm. At the same time,
obesity also increases the risk for pneumonia that in turn causes the
inflammatory cytokine storm and the resultant damage to lungs.
Pretty scary stuff
it is. But wait, there is every reason for hope. Another recent study, this
time a clinical trial itself, is promising some solutions.
This one is by
researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago, who conducted what is perhaps
the first clinical trial on comparison of two intermittent fasting or
time-restricted feeding diets. One diet allowed participants to eat only during
four continuous hours a day, and the other allowed it for six hours.
both diets showed benefits in weight loss, insulin resistance and oxidative
stress by 10 weeks. This was despite allowing the participants to eat whatever
they wish during the daily eating phase of 4 or 6 hours.
resulted in daily calorie restriction of around 550 calories automatically. And
the tougher 4 hour regimen didn’t offer any additional benefit over the 6 hour
In other words,
intermittent fasting is the in-thing if you want to combat obesity and overcome
it, even without sacrificing many of your favourite foods. I cover a lot of
ground on Intermittent Fasting in my new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’,
especially on how it works and how to go about implementing it in your daily
obesity, this pandemic has shown that the most devastating metabolic syndrome
component has been diabetes. Here too, a new research study has come to the
rescue, by shedding light on what many diabetic patients have been missing all
the while in their strategies. This study by researchers at Ohio State
University showed why de-stressing is critical for blood sugar management in
those with Type 2 Diabetes.
In those without diabetes, the stress hormone,
cortisol, spikes in the morning and wanes by the evening. But in diabetic
patients, instead of this daily spiking and waning, there is a flat cortisol
level always, which correlates to the high blood sugar seen in them.
What this calls for
is more relaxation time for those with diabetes. It can be meditation,
listening to soothing music, praying, reading a favourite author, playing with
kids, pursuing a hobby, anything that a person finds calming and enjoyable.
I hope I could
explain to you the seriousness of the metabolic syndrome pandemic, its core
components, obesity and diabetes, and what you can do about them. Do check out
my new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’ when it comes out shortly, as it has
tons of more information on battling metabolic syndrome. Thanks for reading!