Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease; rather, it is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase an individual’s risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These well-known risk factors include:

  • Elevated glucose or insulin resistance
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Increased waist size or body weight

Dysfunctional cellular and mitochondrial metabolism, characterized as an insulin resistance, is at the core of metabolic syndrome. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells, or β-cells, in the islet region of the pancreas. Insulin controls the level of glucose – a simple sugar made from the food you eat – in the blood. Insulin resistance puts pressure on the pancreatic β-cells, causing them to produce and secrete more and more insulin. Once circulating glucose levels are elevated above 125 mg/dl, an individual is diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes than is someone who does not have metabolic syndrome. In addition to having an increased risk of developing diabetes, individuals with metabolic syndrome have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment. MSDC’s novel therapeutic compounds are being investigated as new treatments for type 2 diabetes as well as other diseases of aging including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fatty liver disease and polycystic kidney disease.