Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Mediterranean diet also has a protective effect on individual components of metabolic syndrome

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and has beneficial effects on its individual components, according to a meta-analysis published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Christina-Maria Kastorini, from Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, and colleagues reviewed epidemiological studies, randomized controlled trials, and studies published until April 30, 2010, to assess the effect of Mediterranean diet on MetS and its individual components. The analysis included 50 studies (35 clinical trials, two prospective studies, and 13 cross-sectional analyses) comprising 534,906 participants.

The investigators found that, according to a combined analysis of prospective and cross-sectional studies, following a Mediterranean diet was correlated with reduced risk of MetS (log hazard ratio, −0.69). Clinical trials and epidemiological studies demonstrated the protective effect of Mediterranean diet on individual components of MetS, including waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood glucose, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

"The results of the present meta-analysis suggest that adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern was associated with lower MetS prevalence and progression. Moreover, greater adherence to this traditional dietary pattern was associated with favorable effects on the MetS components," the authors write.

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