A Mediterranean-style low-glycemic-load diet improves variables of metabolic syndrome in women, and addition of a phytochemical-rich medical food enhances benefits on lipoprotein metabolism

Published:March 14, 2011DOI:


      The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) has highlighted the need for effective dietary interventions to combat this growing problem.


      To assess the impact of a Mediterranean-style low-glycemic-load diet (control arm, n = 44) or the same diet plus a medical food containing phytosterols, soy protein, and extracts from hops and acacia (intervention arm, n = 45) on cardiometabolic risk variables in women with MetS.


      In this 12-week, 2-arm randomized trial, baseline, week 8 and 12, fasting blood samples were drawn to measure plasma lipids, apolipoproteins, and homocysteine. Dietary records were also collected and analyzed.


      There were decreases in fat and sugar intake (P < .001 for both) and increases in docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intake (P < .001 for both) over time, consistent with the prescribed diet. Regarding MetS variables, there were decreases in waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and plasma triglycerides in all subjects (P < .001 for all) with no differences between arms. Plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein (apo) B, and apo B/apo A1 were reduced over time but to a greater extent in the intervention arm (P < .05 for all), indicating the medical food had a greater effect in altering lipoprotein metabolism. Further, medical food intake was associated with reduced plasma homocysteine (P < .01) compared to the control arm.


      A Mediterranean-style low-glycemic-load diet effectively reduces the variables of MetS. Addition of the medical food results in a less atherogenic lipoprotein profile and lower plasma homocysteine.


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