Metabolic Syndrome: A Multifaceted Disease of Affluence

Marià Alemany


Metabolic syndrome developed in consequence of an evolutionary inadequacy: the human body was unprepared for a dietary excess of nutrients, especially lipids (largely in detriment of carbohydrate). This excess awakens metabolic signals akin to those of starvation, in which the main energy staple is the body’s own lipid reserve. Lipid dietary abundance prevents the use of glucose, which in turn limits the oxidation of amino acids. To ward against a subsequent avalanche of substrates, the immune system and hypertrophied tissues (for example, adipose) elicit a series of defence responses. This response is probably the ultimate basis of a disease that is manifested as various pathologies, which were initially defined as distinct entities but which are slowly being seen as a single pathognomic unit in the literature. Based on their common origin of the ample availability of food in our modern society, the cluster of diseases comprising the metabolic syndrome is probably best described as a single multifaceted disease.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;2(4-5):155-165


Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Hyperlipidic diet; Inflammation

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