As someone who focuses on their health, the term metabolism is not new and it is a common topic of conversation in the health space. The main purpose of metabolism is to convert food into energy for the body. When this process runs smoothly, the body has optimal metabolic health. If you’re on a mission to increase your metabolic health, but don’t know where to start, read on to learn everything from the common risk factors of poor metabolic health to how to improve it in your diet with a range of nutrients, including pentadecanoic acid (C15:0).

What is Metabolic Health?

Metabolic health is determined by five markers: blood sugar, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and waist circumference. When each of these markers is functioning at optimal levels – without the use of medication to do so – the body is in metabolic health. When the body is not in metabolic health by falling outside optimal levels for at least three of the five markers, the body is in metabolic syndrome. A study from the University of North Carolina reported in 2019, found that just over 12% of adults in the United States are metabolically healthy.

The Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome

When the body is metabolic syndrome, it faces a variety of health risks. Each of the five markers that determine metabolic health is associated with common complications and conditions.


When the metabolic syndrome is left untreated, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases. Blood sugar levels are the hallmark of diabetes and, as one of the five markers for metabolic syndrome, when blood sugar levels are high, there is an increased risk of diabetes.

Heart Attack or Stroke

Two of the conditions of metabolic syndrome are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When both of these levels are high, the plaques in your arteries can build up. When this buildup happens, the plagues narrow and harden the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease has been shown to be associated with metabolic syndrome. It is unclear which of the five conditions of metabolic syndrome cause chronic kidney disease by maintaining metabolic health in a daily routine to reduce any high levels of the five markers can prove beneficial.

Some additional conditions associated with metabolic syndrome include cardiovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

How to Maintain Metabolic Health

Maintaining metabolic health is not a one-time practice but rather a lifelong lifestyle to keep the body in a continuous state of metabolic health. Diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits can help the body stay within healthy levels for each of the five markers.

A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains while limiting saturated fat and salt will help the body. One nutrient that has been shown to promote a healthy metabolism is pentadecanoic acid (C15:0), which is a fatty acid found in dairy fat, ruminant meat, and some types of fish and plants. Consuming pentadecanoic acid (C15:0) whether it is in foods or supplements can help cells function, improve energy production, and better orchestrate metabolism and immunity in the body.

Physical activity is incredibly important for maintaining health. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Getting enough good sleep can help the body maintain healthy metabolic levels as well, as poor sleep has been shown to result in poor diet choices the following day. The recommended amount of sleep adults should get each night is between 7–9 hours. When following a regular exercise routine, sleep often comes better so by exercising, you are also ensuring your body gets the quality sleep it needs.

Other lifestyle factors that can help metabolic health include reducing stress and anxiety. People facing mental health conditions have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Regularly seeing a doctor or therapist can help with managing mental health conditions. In addition, individuals who drink alcohol or smoke face an increased risk. No matter what lifestyle choices you make, it’s always a good idea to see a primary care physician on a regular basis to accurately assess and diagnose your health conditions.


Metabolic health has a huge role in overall health so it does require attention to avoid increasing the risk of common conditions. Following a healthy lifestyle with metabolic health in mind can help the body maintain the wellness it needs to lead a long life.