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Role of nutrients in metabolic syndrome: a 2017 update

Authors Kern HJ, Mitmesser SH

Received 12 August 2017

Accepted for publication 7 December 2017

Published 28 February 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 13—26


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Hua J Kern, Susan Hazels Mitmesser

The Nature’s Bounty Co., Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

Abstract: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its associated chronic disorders including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are public health concerns in the USA and worldwide. “Good health is an investment in economic growth,” and nutrition is one of the recommended preventive measures to manage these chronic diseases. However, it is unclear whether and to what extent nutrients could be beneficial to the improvement of MetS. To help answer this question, we performed a literature review of the emerging human data on single nutrients and MetS: PubMed was searched from January 1, 2005 to June 12, 2017, using a combination of the following keywords: “nutrient” OR “vitamin” OR “mineral” OR “nutraceutical” AND “metabolic syndrome.” The summary of literature comprises macronutrients (proteins/amino acids, fatty acids, fibers, and sugar), micronutrients (antioxidant vitamins, vitamin D, folate, magnesium, and chromium), polyphenols (flavonoids, resveratrol, isoflavones, and chlorogenic acid), and other compounds (α-lipoic acid, benfotiamine, fucoxanthin, policosanol, and stanols). Bearing a holistic approach in mind, we also highlighted select lifestyle factors that may contribute to MetS (such as circadian rhythm and nutrition in early life). Observational studies have generated positive evidence supporting the beneficial role of numerous nutrients in MetS. Although the results of some clinical trials are consistent with the observational data, causality is not always clear or consistent across trials. Both nutrition and health are complex and dynamic systems with a hierarchical nature. When we design confirmatory trials to investigate nutrient(s) and MetS, instead of the traditional “single-nutrient” concept, it is worth considering a holistic approach to integrate groups or classes of nutrients, lifestyle influencers (ie, diet and physical activity), and population relevance (ie, healthy, at-risk, or diseased).

Keywords: nutrient, metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance

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