A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts to people with metabolic syndrome may help reverse the condition, shows a scientific study.
Mediterranean diets supplemented with olive oil or nuts were not associated with a reduced incidence of metabolic syndrome compared with a low-fat diet; however, both diets were associated with a significant rate of reversion of metabolic syndrome.
Spanish researchers analyzed data from the PREDIMED randomized controlled trial, which included men and women aged 55-80 years old at high risk of heart disease. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or a low-fat diet as the control.
In the secondary analysis, the research team found almost 64% (3707) of the participants had metabolic syndrome at the start of the study.
After a median follow up period of 4.8 years people in the two Mediterranean diet groups decreased their central obesity and blood glucose levels and 958 participants (28.2%) no longer met the criteria of metabolic syndrome.
About 25% of adults around the world have metabolic syndrome. The syndrome exists in the presence of three or more factors such as large waist circumference, high blood pressure, low HDL-cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides and high blood sugar concentrations that can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.
The findings from a clinical trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).