Metabolic Syndrome: The Complex Relationship of Diet to Conditions of Disturbed Metabolism
The widespread prevalence and deleterious effects of metabolic syndrome have become a major public health challenge as it is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle modification focusing on diet has shown promise for managing cardiovascular disease risk, and clinical studies provide evidence that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with phytochemicals is a successful interventional approach. The role of phytochemicals in regulating gene expression and modulating intracellular kinase activity has only recently begun to be appreciated. Clinical studies investigating the effects of specific phytochemicals in metabolic syndrome patients have produced encouraging results, including normalization of metabolic function, reduction of cardiovascular risk, and resolution of metabolic syndrome. As research advances our understanding of the evolutionary relationships between plants and humans, details are emerging about the mechanisms by which phytochemicals regulate insulin signaling and inflammatory responses. This expanding field of research is likely to lead to novel, effective clinical approaches for combating chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Jeffrey S. Bland
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