(Deparment of Biochemistry, EUI)

                     It’s curious to know that some individuals enjoying sound health deliberately, choose to destroy their health. Why on earth would they choose the path leading to destruction? Am I sounding spiritual? Are you still trying to discern the message my pure heart has got for you? You need not stress yourself! I am your friend and a good friend doesn’t subject his/her friend to an unnecessary stress. Here we go!

                    Worldwide, the prevalence of chronic diseases associated with surplus calories continues to rise. Chief among the chronic diseases, witnessing this alarming upsurge, are obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, little thanks to the Minister officiating the union, METABOLIC SYNDROME (MS). If I may ask, have you ever pondered why the fore mentioned surplus calorie-associated diseases are now epidemic even, in the developing world (such as Nigeria) where malnutrition is still an important public health problem? This unholy relationship is quite unexpected! Indeed, they are man-made problems as every step we take away from nature takes us closer to ill health. I would be using MS to bring the picture to the fore.

                  Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a constellation of interconnected factors which increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). You may have wondered why there are men, women and even, children who carry “apple-shaped” pregnancy (protruding belly/pot belly) without gestational age. This is a classical pointer to MS!


                 So, how do you know you have MS? Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome involves simple clinical assessment of your blood pressure, body weight, height, waist circumference and determination of blood glucose level (popularly known as blood sugar) and lipid profile (popularly known as blood fat). Thereafter, the diagnosis is made when any three of the main five components are present. The five components include central obesity (≥94 cm for male subjects and ≥80 cm for female subjects), elevated blood pressure (systolic blood pressure ≥130 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥85 mmHg), raised fasting glucose (≥5.6 mmol/L), raised level of triglycerides (≥1.7 mmol/L) and low level of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (

                  Now, what causes MS? A number of factors have been identified. These are excess caloric consumption, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, maladaptive response to stress and social habits including smoking. Among these factors, excess caloric consumption will be discussed for now.

                     Nature has endowed us with machineries with which we would live healthy and set a limit on what the machineries could handle. Therefore, any extra load brings stress to the body and distorts the metabolic arrangement resulting in deposition of the surplus at undesirable sites such as the liver, the heart, the skeletal muscle and in visceral adipose tissue. This stress invoked on the body can result in type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and other diseases of the heart, infertility (via polycystic ovarian syndrome) and the dreaded cancer. In essence, the ability of the body to cope with the surplus calories ultimately, determines the individual's susceptibility to developing MS. One pertinent question at this juncture is how does calorie becomes surplus? We live in a world where each and every one of us moves what is trending without taking time to consider the side effects. For instance, we now live in a world where what is in vogue is energy-dense foods popularly known as westernized diet. My friend, I wouldn’t deceive you, in the parlance of health, they are simply JUNKS! This is in sharp contrast to the old practices of our grandparents whose diets were fresh and unprocessed as ours. Furthermore, many households parade avalanche of cars and seek the service of house helps so, short distance journey and simple gardening which we ought to do ourselves are achieved with the aid of automobiles and domestic helps. These, our forefathers did not “ENJOY” but did enjoy “SOUND HEALTH and LONGEVITY”. Now, we need some heart-to-heart talk! Do you want to enjoy life or you want to manage life? If you want to enjoy life, kindly join me in reversing the so called “in vogue” trend. This can be achieved through therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) including diet and exercise, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery. However, TLCs are considered the most important and proven initial steps in preventing and treating MS as Doctors look the way of other interventions when TLCs fail to achieve therapeutic goals. Below are important intervention strategies that you could find useful.

  1. Consume diets rich in dairy, fish, and cereal grains (Mediterranean-style diets are known to prevent metabolic diseases).

  2. Consume more of vegetables and fruits (about five servings a day).

  3. Avoid eating in between meals. If you must eat, let it be fruits or vegetables.

  4. Exercise:

  5. Regular moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes continuously at least 5 days per week (with the ideal being 7 days per week).

  6. Aerobic training (Consult an exercise Expert as appropriate training is prescribed after assessing your cardio-respiratory fitness).

  • Avoid excessive sitting. Do not sit for more than 30 minutes at a go, stand up at intervals and walk around.

  1. Walk to walk (if possible)

  2. Ride bicycle

  3. Take the stairs

  4. Educate your friends and probably, form a campaign group against sedentary lifestyle.

  5. Imbibe the habit of going for routine medical check-up especially when you are fat (obese).


******Remember, nothing is achieved in life without self-discipline! Therefore, the usual long term adherence challenge can be surmounted through determination and self- discipline.*********


Be close to the nature and stop being cruel to yourself!

Kindly remember to invite me when you roll out drums for your centenary birthday in good health.

God bless you and bye for now.




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  • Alberti, K. G., Eckel, R. H., Grundy, S. M., Zimmet, P. Z., Cleeman, J. I., Donato, K. A., Fruchart, J. C., James, W. P., Loria, C. M., Smith, S. C., Jr., International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, American Heart Association, World Heart Federation, International Atherosclerosis Society & International Association for the Study of Obesity. 2009. Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity. Circulation 120: 1640-1645.
  • Björntorp, P. 1991. Metabolic implications of body fat distribution. Diabetes Care 12: 1132-1143.
  • Bouchard, C., Tremblay, A., Després, J. P., Nadeau, A., Lupien, P. J., Thériault, G., Dussault, J., Moorjani, S., Pinault, S. & Fournier, G. 1990. The response to long-term overfeeding in identical twins. New England Journal of Medicine21: 1477-1482
  • Després, J. and Lemieux, I. 2006. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome. Nature 444: 881-887.
  • Kassi, E., Pervanidou, P., Kaltsas, G. & Chrousos, G. 2011. Metabolic syndrome: definitions and controversies. BMC Medicine 9: 48.
  • Monteiro R. 2009. Chronic Inflammation in the Metabolic Syndrome: Emphasis on Adipose Tissue in Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Angiogenesis in the Metabolic Syndrome edited by Raquel Soares and Carla Costa. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. pp 66-83.
  • Rahamon, S. K., Charles-Davies, M. A., Akinlade, K. S., Olaniyi, J. A., Fasanmade, A. A., Oyewole, A. A., Owolabi, M. O., Adebusuyi, J. R., Hassan, O. O., Ajobo, B. M., Ebesunun, M. O., Adigun, K., Fabian, U. A., Popoola, O. O., Okunbolade, W., Arinola, O. G., Agbedana, E. O. 2014. Impact of dietary intervention on selected biochemical indices of inflammation and oxidative stress in Nigerians with metabolic syndrome. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety 4(2): 137-149.
  • Rahamon, S. K., Fabian, U. A., Charles-Davies, M. A., Olaniyi, J. A., Fasanmade, A. A., Akinlade, K. S., Oyewole, O. E., Owolabi, M. O., Adebusuyi, J. R., Hassan, O. O., Ajobo, B. M., Ebesunun, M. O., Adigun, K., Popoola, O. O., Omiyale, W., Arinola, O. G., Agbedana, E. O. 2017. Changes in mediators of inflammation and prothrombosis after 12 months of dietary modification in adults with metabolic syndrome. African Health Sciences 17(2): 453-462.
  • Singh U, Sridevi Devaraj, and Ishwarlal Jialal. 2009. Nutritional Modulation of Inflammation in Metabolic Syndrome in Oxidative Stress and inflammatory mechanism in obesity, diabetes and metablic syndrome eds. Packer L and Sies H. CRS Press pp 227- 242.


Posted by:
Marian Onwude Agbugui
on July 04, 2018


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