Stress-Induced Inflammation Revealed as a Culprit in Metabolic Syndrome


Metabolic Syndrome

In a groundbreaking study, stress has been identified as a significant contributor to the development of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

While lifestyle and genetics have long been recognized as key players in the onset of metabolic syndrome, the research emphasizes the often underestimated impact of stress on the body’s inflammatory responses, shedding light on the potential for affordable stress-management techniques to improve overall health outcomes.

Linking Stress to Metabolic Syndrome

The study, published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health, takes a closer look at the connection between stress, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome, particularly during midlife—a critical period for determining accelerated aging and long-term health outcomes.

Lead author Savana Jurgens, a psychology graduate student in the lab of senior author Jasmeet Hayes, an associate professor of psychology at The Ohio State University, aimed to unravel the intricate interplay of these factors.

Metabolic syndrome encompasses at least three of five risk factors, including excess belly fat, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high fasting blood glucose, and high triglycerides. Stress, a modifiable factor that significantly contributes to negative health outcomes as people age, was identified as a crucial link in understanding the onset of metabolic syndrome.

The research utilized data from 648 participants in the Midlife in the United States survey, creating a statistical model to assess the relationship between stress, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome.

What sets this study apart is its holistic approach, considering respondents’ reported stress levels, inflammatory blood biomarkers, and physical exam results indicating metabolic syndrome risk factors.

According to Jurgens, the lead author, “Few studies have examined all three of these variables simultaneously. While research suggests stress links to inflammation, inflammation to metabolic syndrome, and stress to metabolic syndrome, rarely are all these pieces put together.”

The Role of Inflammation Unveiled

The statistical model incorporated inflammation composite scores based on well-known biomarkers such as IL-6, C-reactive protein, E-selectin, ICAM-1, and fibrinogen. The analysis revealed a clear association between stress and metabolic syndrome, with inflammation explaining a substantial 61.5% of this connection.

“While perceived stress has a small direct effect on metabolic syndrome, inflammation plays a major role,” explained Jurgens.

This finding aligns with the understanding that stress is just one among many factors that can disrupt health markers. Factors like inactivity, unhealthy eating, smoking, poor sleep, low socioeconomic status, advanced age, and being female also contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome.

With an estimated one in three American adults affected by metabolic syndrome, the study’s findings underscore the critical need to comprehend and manage the impact of stress on overall health. Jasmeet Hayes, the senior author, emphasized, “Stress is often viewed solely as a mental health issue, but its effects are far-reaching, with real physical consequences like inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and more.”

The research serves as a stark reminder of the profound influence stress exerts on physical well-being, paving the way for a reevaluation of public health strategies. The implications extend beyond mental health considerations, emphasizing the urgent need for stress-management interventions to mitigate the broader health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.

As society grapples with rising health concerns, the study opens avenues for further exploration into effective stress management techniques and reinforces the importance of addressing stress as a multifaceted contributor to overall health outcomes.

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

New Study Reveals Link Between Depression, Anorexia, and Gut Microbiota

Metabolic Syndrome

A recent study published in BMC Psychiatry sheds light on a potential connection between major depressive disorder (MDD), anorexia, and gut microbiota. Led by researchers at the First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, the study suggests that individuals with both depression and anorexia exhibit distinct patterns in their gut bacteria, particularly involving the presence of a specific bacterium called Blautia.

Depression, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in daily activities, affects millions worldwide and is often accompanied by a high risk of suicide. Anorexia, marked by reduced appetite and distorted body image, commonly co-occurs with depression, complicating treatment efforts.

Gut Bacteria’s Role in Depression and Anorexia

Up Next

Anxiety Alleviation: Dietitians Recommend 4 Drinks to Lower Anxiety

Metabolic Syndrome

In a world where stress and anxiety are prevalent, with up to 19% of U.S. adults experiencing prolonged anxiety, the quest for effective coping mechanisms continues.

While traditional treatments like medication and therapy remain pillars of support, emerging research suggests that dietary choices, including hydration, might play a significant role in managing anxiety levels.

Drinks to Lower Anxiety You Must Know About

Here, we delve into the top drinks to lower anxiety recommended by dietitians –

1. Chamomile Tea: Renowned for its calming properties, chamomile tea contains apigenin, a flavonoid compound known for its anti-anxiety effects. Wan Na Chan, M.P.H., RD,

Up Next

Managing Autoimmune Disorders Through Yoga: Effective Practices to Consider

Metabolic Syndrome

In recent years, the intersection between holistic practices like yoga and conventional medicine has garnered significant attention, particularly in the realm of managing autoimmune disorders.

A burgeoning body of research suggests that incorporating yoga into treatment plans can offer tangible benefits for individuals grappling with autoimmune conditions. From rheumatoid arthritis to lupus, yoga’s gentle yet powerful techniques hold promise in alleviating symptoms and improving overall quality of life.

Yoga, with its emphasis on mindful movement, breathwork, and relaxation, provides a multifaceted approach to managing autoimmune disorders. The practice not only addresses physical symptoms but also targets the underlying stress and inflammation that often exacerbate these conditions.

Up Next

Pregnancy Linked to Accelerated Aging Process in Women, Study Finds

Metabolic Syndrome

In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers shed light on a compelling connection between pregnancy and the aging process in women.

The study, led by Calen Ryan, an associate research scientist at the Columbia University Ageing Center, suggests that women who have experienced pregnancy may exhibit more signs of biological aging compared to those who haven’t. Intriguingly, the research also indicates that the aging process may accelerate with multiple pregnancies.

Ryan commented on the findings, stating, “We’re discovering that pregnancy leaves lasting effects on the body. While not all are negative, it appears to heighten the risk of certain diseases and overall mortality.”


Up Next

Unlocking Hoarding Disorder: Understanding, Support, and Effective Solutions

Metabolic Syndrome

Hoarding disorder, a mental health condition characterized by persistent difficulty in parting with possessions and accumulating excessive clutter, affects millions of individuals worldwide. Here’s what you need to know about this often misunderstood disorder and how to support those who struggle with it.

Defining Hoarding Disorder:

Hoarding disorder is a complex mental health condition marked by a compulsive urge to accumulate possessions, leading to overwhelming clutter and difficulty discarding items.

According to experts like Brad Schmidt and Gregory Chasson, individuals with hoarding disorder often experience distress at the thought of parting with their belongings and may also have a strong desire to acquire new items.

Up Next

Understanding Cherophobia: Signs, Causes, and Coping Strategies

Metabolic Syndrome

Cherophobia, a condition characterized by an aversion to happiness, has garnered attention for its impact on mental well-being.

Derived from the Greek word “Chairo,” meaning “I rejoice,” cherophobia manifests as an irrational fear of experiencing joy. Therapist Carolyn Rubenstein explains that this fear often stems from anxious thoughts associated with past trauma or childhood experiences linking happiness to negative outcomes.

Signs of Cherophobia

Recognizing the signs of cherophobia is crucial for identifying individuals who may be struggling with this condition:

Feelings of Guilt and Unworthiness: Those with cherophobia experience guilt and unwor

Up Next

Stress Can Lead to Cortisol Belly: Here’s How to Fix It

Metabolic Syndrome

Stress can affect our lives in many ways, from our mental health to our relationships, but it can also lead to physical symptoms such as ‘cortisol belly’. Cortisol belly, named after the stress hormone, has been widely discussed on social platforms such as TikTok, with users and experts explaining how it occurs, and theorizing what could be done about it.

While you may not have heard of the term ‘cortisol belly’ before, you might have heard of stubborn belly fat or stress belly, which are essentially the same thing. This is because it refers to the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue around the stomach, which has been linked to prolonged exposure to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

What Is Cortisol Belly?

According to dietitian