What is MetS?
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a pathologic condition that includes abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of circulating fat), and arterial hypertension.
Complications of MetS 🥴
Each component of MetS is known as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
To be more accurate, it is known that the risk of type 2 diabetes is five times, the risk of cardiovascular disease is two times, and the risk of death is one-half times higher in individuals with MetS compared to those without the syndrome.
Due to its high prevalence and related health problems, the MetS is currently considered as a significant public health problem.
Risk factors ⚠️
MetS has a multi-factorial origin comprising complex interactions between genetic predispositions and environmental factors including diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors.
Since a study showed the link between gut microbiota and obesity, there has been growing evidence that suggests a relationship between gut microbiota and the components of MetS. Therefore, the gut microbiota has been suggested as a potential target to modify the risk factors that contribute to conditions of MetS.
Can pre/probiotics help?
The modification of diet using prebiotics and probiotics has been suggested as a useful strategy to improve metabolic health via the modulation of gut microbiota; and here’s where kefir could play a key role.
Kefir: what is it? 🍶
Kefir is a fermented milk product, traditionally produced with kefir grains that have a specific combination of bacteria and yeasts. Animal studies have suggested that kefir has anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory activities, and thus may ameliorate MetS components. However, there is still limited clinical evidence for its potential effects on MetS human patients.
What do studies say? 📖
A recent study (Sep. 2019) investigated the effects of daily kefir consumption on gut microbiota composition and their relation with the components of metabolic syndrome in adults with MetS. The results indicated that kefir consumption could provide some potential improvements, especially in glycaemic status (blood sugar levels), inflammation–related indicators, and blood pressure; however, none of these improvements were significant enough.
What does this mean? Kefir and other fermented foods may be an important asset in the management of MetS, among other pathologies. Maintaining a healthy microbiota is essential not only for gastrointestinal disorders but, in order to take care of your mental health.