In a sample of 1022 participants, aged 18-92 years, the researchers found that elevated C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels were closely associated with the various components of metabolic syndrome, and the more components a person had, the higher the CRP level. The overall results included:
- Higher mean levels of CRP (2.34 vs 1.36) were observed when metabolic syndrome was present
- Mean CRP levels were significantly higher in the presence of central obesity (2.45 vs 1.24, P<0.001)
- Mean CRP levels were significantly higher in the presence of high blood pressure (1.76 vs 1.12, P<0.001)
- Mean CRP levels were significantly higher in the presence of hypertriglyceridemia (2.17 vs 1.32, P<0.001)
- Mean CRP levels were significantly higher in the presence of high fasting glucose (1.96 vs 1.46, P=0.032)
- There was a significant increasing trend in mean levels of CRP as the number of features of metabolic syndrome increased
The researchers concluded: Present data show that increasing severity of metabolic syndrome is associated with increasing CRP. Additionally, we found that central obesity and high blood pressure are the most important determinants of the low-grade chronic inflammation present in metabolic syndrome.
As I noted in my previous article, CRP is a protein produced and released by the liver during inflammation that is associated with increased risk for hypertension and heart disease. The most critical aspect of both metabolic syndrome and chronic inflammation is poor nutrition - damaged fats, AGE's, trans-fats, nutrient deficiency and too many highly refined foods in the diet. Adding to the burden of poor nutrition is stress, sleep deprivation and poor lifestyle choices such as a lack of physical activity - all things one has control over in their life.
This study adds to the mounting data that what you eat and how you live has a profound effect on your health. It is never too late to start on the right path to health and well-being. Take small steps and build upon those good habits you develop with each step you take. Eating well is the best gift you can give yourself in both the short-term and the long-term!