Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 409–416 | Cite as

Body composition changes and cardiometabolic benefits of a balanced Italian Mediterranean Diet in obese patients with metabolic syndrome

  • Nicola Di Daniele
  • Luigi Petramala
  • Laura Di Renzo
  • Francesca Sarlo
  • Domenico Giovanni Della Rocca
  • Mariagiovanna Rizzo
  • Valentina Fondacaro
  • Leonardo Iacopino
  • Carl J. Pepine
  • Antonino De LorenzoEmail author
Original Article


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.


Italian Mediterranean Diet Body composition Metabolic syndrome Cardiovascular disease 



We acknowledge all Italian Mediterranean Diet Study Group, composed by Antonino De Lorenzo, Laura Di Renzo, Leonardo Iacopino, Francesca Sarlo, Luigi Petramala, Domenico Giovanni Della Rocca, Mariagiovanna Rizzo, Emidio Domino, Alberto Carraro, Nicoletta Del Duca, Simona Giglio, Valentina Fondacaro, Roberto Valente, Fabrizio Spataro, Maria Rosaria Lentini, Antonella Pellegrino, Maria Francesca Vidiri, Giuseppe Fortugno, Sara Calamusa, Marta Piazzolla, Federica Fabiocchi, Alessia Bianchi, Gioacchino Paci, Giovanna Maria Paola Tonini.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Di Daniele
    • 1
  • Luigi Petramala
    • 2
  • Laura Di Renzo
    • 2
    • 3
  • Francesca Sarlo
    • 2
  • Domenico Giovanni Della Rocca
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mariagiovanna Rizzo
    • 2
  • Valentina Fondacaro
    • 2
  • Leonardo Iacopino
    • 2
  • Carl J. Pepine
    • 5
  • Antonino De Lorenzo
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Hypertension UnitUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Division of Human Nutrition, Department of Biomedicine and Preventative MedicineUniversity of “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  3. 3.I.N.Di.M, National Institute for Mediterranean Diet and NutrigenomicAmanteaItaly
  4. 4.Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  5. 5.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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