Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 351–377 | Cite as

Biomarkers of the metabolic syndrome: influence of selected foodstuffs, containing bioactive components

  • Harry Robberecht
  • Tess De Bruyne
  • Nina Hermans


The influence of various non-nutritive bioactive foodstuffs and food components on the biomarkers of the metabolic syndrome in humans is critically reviewed. Tea, coffee, cocoa, soy, olive oil, fruit and nuts are most of the time found to be effective in improving lipid profiles, CRP and adiponectin. Spices (garlic, curcumin and cinnamon), carotenoids and the phytosterol/-stanols are frequently related to lower risk of metabolic syndrome and improved biomarkers. Since food is a complex matrix and the heterogeneity of studied population and served diets are not always well-defined, this could explain some contradictory results found in literature. Other factors jeopardizing definite conclusions are mentioned.


Metabolic syndrome Biomarkers Foodstuffs Bioactive components 



α-Linoleic acid


Alanine aminotransferase


Body mass index


C-reactive protein


Cardiovascular disease


Docosahexaenoic acid




Eicosapentaenoic acid


Gamma aminobutyric acid


High-density lipoprotein




Homeostasis assessment-insulin resistance index


High sensitivity-CRP




Inducible nitric oxide synthetase


Low-density lipoprotein




Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1




Metabolic syndrome


Monounsaturated fatty acids


Nitric oxide


Oxidized LDL


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Retinol-binding protein 4


Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule




Total cholesterol




Tumor necrosis factor-α


Very-low density lipoprotein




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Robberecht
    • 1
  • Tess De Bruyne
    • 1
  • Nina Hermans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratory of General and Functional Foods, NatuRA (Natural Products and Food-Research and Analysis)University of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium

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