Body composition changes and cardiometabolic benefits of a balanced Italian Mediterranean Diet in obese patients with metabolic syndrome
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Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of metabolic alteration associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality than the single alterations alone. The Italian Mediterranean Diet (IMD) can exert a positive effect on cardiovascular risk and related morbidity and mortality. The aim was to evaluate the benefits of dietary intervention based on a typical IMD on body composition, cardiometabolic changes and reduction in cardiovascular disease in patients with MS. Eighty White Italian subjects with MS were prescribed a balanced hypocaloric IMD. We investigated dietary habits and impact of the diet on health status, blood biochemical markers, anthropometric measurements and body composition during a 6-month follow-up period. Body composition, fat mass and distribution were assessed by Dual X-ray absorptiometry. Adherence to the IMD led to a decrease in body weight (102.59 ± 16.82 to 92.39 ± 15.94 kg, p < 0.001), body mass index (BMI) (38.57 ± 6.94 to 35.10 ± 6.76, <0.001) and waist circumference (112.23 ± 12.55 vs 92.42 ± 18.17 cm, p < 0.001). A significant loss of total body fat especially in waist region was observed. The MS was resolved in 52 % of the patients. Significant improvements in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and fasting glucose occurred. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was reduced from 128.74 ± 33.18 to 108.76 ± 38.61 mg/dl (p < 0.001), triglycerides from 169.81 ± 80.80 to 131.02 ± 63.88 mg/dl (p < 0.001). The present results suggest that a dietary intervention based on a typical IMD effectively promotes weight loss and reduces the growing burden of cardiovascular risk factors that typifies patients with MS.