Metabolic Syndrome - Insulin Resistance
This disease would better be named Castration Syndrome. I cover Metabolic
Syndrome several times on this site because it is so critical to the health of your
heart and your penis. Metabolic Syndrome is a set of symptoms that includes
low HDL (good cholesterol)
high blood pressure
Many researchers would also include
increased Inflammation and blood clotting as well. Some of
you well-read health fanatics may even remember when Metabolic Syndrome was
called Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Whatever the name,
Metabolic Syndrome is nasty stuff for us males.
If you have two or more of the above symptoms, then you need to consider yourself
as having Metabolic Syndrome and you need to take
action immediately for the sake of your sex life (and health). Metabolic Syndrome
is a full frontal assault on your penis. First of all, it is associated
with lower levels of testosterone and increased levels of erectile dysfunction.
This relationship was clearly established in a study that showed strong
correlations between one of the hallmarks of Metabolic Syndrome, insulin
resistance, and testosterone levels.  In these senior men the
the insulin resistance, the lower the testosterone. Other researchers have concluded that "while it is clear that disease, and in
the context of this contribution, in particular the metabolic syndrome can
suppress circulating testosterone levels, it has also been documented that low
testosterone levels induce the metabolic syndrome ". 
To put it more clearly: Metabolic Syndrome likely causes low testosterone and low
testosterone likely causes Metabolic Syndrome.  Again, it's the Kiss of Death to
your sexual life and all you hold dear as a male.
Just as bad, Metabolic Syndrome has another little known symptom: it increases levels of ADMA, an amino acid that mimics Nitric Oxide! In other words, with
Metabolic Syndrome your body pushes that most precious of all chemicals, Nitric
Oxide, out of the way. That means the Little Guy stays little. (For
more details, read here.)
While Metabolic Syndrome is annhilating your testosterone and decreasing your
Nitric Oxide levels, it also is taking out your cardiovascular system.
That means that it is clogging up your veins and arteries, including the all
important ones that supply blood to your penis! This, in turn, leads to
high blood pressure, which is also strongly associated with Erectile
Consider also what researchers
found when they did an analysis of
the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), a large
national survey of the U.S. population ages 20 to 89 taken between 1988 and 1994.
They found that each of the aspects of Metabolic Syndrome raises your chances of
a heart attack by the following percentages:
High triglycerides: 66 percent
High blood pressure 44 percent
Insulin resistance: 30 percent
Low HDL: 35 percent
Metabolic Disorder is also associated with "brain damage". One
large study of 999 men found that "cross-sectional measurements at age 70 showed
that high 24-hour BP, nondipping, insulin resistance, and diabetes all were
related to low cognitive function".  None of this is surprising
considering that Metabolic Syndrome and insulin resistance are associated with
systemic Inflammation. 
Inflammation ravages both the body and mind as
informed Peak Testosterone readers already know.
Recent research shows that insulin resitance may be the deadliest aspect of
Metabolic Syndrome. And it is insulin resistance that can be the trickiest
to diagnose. One warning sign, regardless of your weight, is if you have
higher triglycerides and lower HDL scores.  That ratio can be a warning sign
even for someone who is relatively thin.
Do you know the foods and drinks that increase erection-boosting
Nitric Oxide? Check out the
Peak Erectile Strength Diet where I show
you how to dramatically and naturally improve your erectile strength.
In fact, it should be pointed out that only 60% of those classified with
Metabolic Syndrome are actually overweight. And the explanation for that
may be the fact that the 40% may be insulin resitant even though they are not
overweight. This can result from, for example, being thin with a lot of visceral
fat or being thin and very metabolically active.  Again, watch the
triglyceride to HDL ratio for possible clues.
NOTE: The Triglyceride to HDL-C ratio is certainly not a perfect measure
of insulin resistance and has been found to be only a little better
than the Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio for predicting cardiovascular outcomes. 
Again, keep in mind that total cholesterol less than 150, and not having resulted from
disease or medical condition of course, is probably the best insurance against
heart disease. I cover this in the following link on a
Low Fat Diet,
which is the easiest way to get your cholesterol at or near the 150 mark.
Interesting enought, a
Low Fat Diet
can actually raise Triglycerides and lower HDL and yet it still provides
excellent heart protection assuming one's cholesterol is near 150.
Researchers have also discovered that where fat is located is all-important when
it comes to insulin resistance for example. One study pointed out that
there are no sumo wrestlers or NFL players who are insulin resistant even though
many are significantly overweight. However, when they retire they almost
always become insulin resistant because "their fat moves from the subcutaneous
compartment to the visceral compartment".  Visceral fat is considered
to be an actual organ and effects many part of our metabolism. A good
measure is basically the ratio of a measurement around your belly button to that
of your waist.
What is visceral fat? You may have read about "apples" versus "pears",
referring to the general shape of a person's body. Basically, this is
referring to whether or not any excess weight on your body tends to go to your
belly button area or to your butt. If it goes to your belly button area,
you are more quickly building up "organ fat", which is linked to type 2
diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and cardiovascular disease. So even if you
are a Skinny Bastard, like myself, you can have a relatively high level of
visceral fat and its ensuing negative health consequences.
Another factor that may lead to insulin resistance is a
High Fat Diet.
Researchers found that, at least in animals, a High Fat Diet led to
mitochondrial function genes being down-regulated which mimics what is seen in insulin resistance.  This has been
verified in multiple animal studies and scientists have just discovered in the
last few years the pathway by which this occurs.  Originally, it was
thought that free fatty acids might compete with glucose-like substances for use
in the cell, but research is pointing in a different direction now. The
important thing to remember is this: the more fat, the less the
mitochondrial function, the more likely you are to be insulin resitant and
receive all of the nasty symptoms that come with it.
Keeping and raising mitochondrial function is also related to its sister
disorder: type II diabetes. The lead of one recent study  on the
subject wrote "There is a strong relationship between lipid [fat] content in the
muscle and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle". He then stated
something ultra-critical: "Insulin resistance is the best predictor for
whether someone will eventually develop type 2 diabetes". In other words, type
II diabetes is really not the sister of Metabolic Syndrome, it is the offspring!pring!
Another important aspect of Metabolic Syndrome to remember is that it generally
leads to weight gain, due to the insulin resistance as
Japanese scientists have
just discovered that high insulin levels keep your body from breaking down fat.
An insulin resitant individual will have high insulin levels and high glucose
concentrations, a toxic combination that causes damage in different ways.
The high insulin levels are deadly because the block the breakdown of fats by
adrenaline and lipase. 
So is there hope in the battle against Metabolic Syndrome or is it simply an inevitable part of aging?
As always, science has uncovered many practical solutions, which I have compiled in my link
How to Defeat Metabolic
NOTE ON APNEA:
Of course, the easy weight gain that comes from insulin resistance is deadly in
many ways. I document the many
Dangers of Being Overweight. But one
I would like to highlight is that weight gain is
associated with apnea.  Apnea is a sleep disorder where the airway is
temporarily restricted leading to extremely restless and interrupted sleep and
it whacks testosterone, makes Metabolic Syndrome even worse and can lead to a
host of nasty distorders.
Jour Urol, 2007 Feb,177(2):651-4; Jour Clin Endocrin Metab 1990 Oct,71(4):929-31
Obesity Reviews,Jul 2008,9(4)340-354(15)
4) Am J Clin Nutr,2003 Nov,78(5):965-71
5) J of Mens Health, Sep 2008, 5(1):S40-S45
6) Med Sci Sports Exerc, Oct 2003, 35(10):1703-9
7) Tex Heart Inst J, 2005, 32(3): 387–389
8) Am J Cardiol, 2008 Feb 15,101(4):497-501
9) Diabetes Care, 2005, 28:1636-1642
Kobe J Med Sciences, 2007, 53:99-106
Diabetes, 2005, 54:1926-1933
12) J Clin Invest, 2007, 117(712) J Clin Invest, 2007, 117(7): 1995-2003
13) Yale University (2004, February 23). Young People Prone To Type 2 Diabetes
Exhibit Alterations In Mitochondrial Activity
14) J of Clin Hypertension, May 9 2007, 9(4):249-255
15) Circulation, 2005, 111(11):1448-1454; Lupus, 2005, 14(9):760-764
17) Henriksen EJ, et al. Chronic thioctic acid treatment increases insulin
stimulated glucose transport activity in skeletal muscle of obese zucker rats.
Diabetes (Suppl.) (1994) 1:122A
18) Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 2003, 62:139-48
19) Physiologica Scandinavica, 1992, 146:505–510
20) Science, 1987, 237(4817):885-888
21) J. Nutr, Nov 2005, 135:2634-2638
22) European Heart Journal, Advance Access published online on January 23, 2008,
"Work stress and coronary heart disease: what are the mechanisms?", Received 1
August 2007; revised 14 November 2007; accepted 22 November 2007.
23) "Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes." Chen, H., Journal of
Food Science, published online June 30, 2009.
Obesity Reviews,Jul 2008,9(4)340-354(15)
J of Clin Endocrin & Metab, Nedeltcheva, A.V. , published online ahead of print,
June 30, 2009
Amer J of Clin Nutr, March 2005, 81(3):611-614, "Short-term administration of
dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and
a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons"
27) Perez-Pozo S, et al "Excessive fructose intake raises blood pressure in
humans" AHA BPRC 2009; Abstract P127
J Endocrin Invest, Jun 2007,30(6):451-8; Journal Andrology, 2009, 30:10-22