Tackling metabolic syndrome by functional foods

National institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, .
Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (Impact Factor: 4.89). 09/2013; 14(3). DOI: 10.1007/s11154-013-9270-8
Source: PubMed


The metabolic syndrome is one of the most vibrant and widely prevailing health concerns worldwide. It is characterized by several metabolic abnormalities, which involve obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, enhanced oxidative stress; hypertension and increased pro-inflammatory state that ultimate contribute towards poor health. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Pakistan according to different definitions is reported to be from 18 % to 46 %. Fifty percent of Pakistani population is at high risk of metabolic syndrome as being hypertensive. In studying dyslipidemia in Pakistan, hypertriglyceridemia is found in 27-54 % of the population, whereas 68-81 % has low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Population likes to eat healthier diet without changing their fundamental dietary pattern. Nutrition science has moved on from the classical concepts of avoiding nutrient deficiencies and basic nutritional adequacy to the concept of positive or optimal nutrition. Many traditional food products including fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, oat, barley, whole grains, soy and milk have been found to contain component with potential health benefits. Nowadays, functional foods are used in the prevention and amelioration of several chronic diseases, such as the metabolic syndrome. The relation of the consumption of certain functional foods and the improvement in health status is regulated through health claims. This review focuses on the different features of the metabolic syndrome and the influence of functional foods on these aspects, involving dyslipidemia, improvement of insulin sensitivity, serum lipid profile, antioxidant status, anti-inflammatory status and weight management of humans.

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