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21-03-2010 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Diet linked to number metabolic syndrome components in Japanese adults


Free abstract

MedWire News: Intake of certain foods and nutrients is related to the number of components of the metabolic syndrome present, a study in elderly Japanese individuals suggests.

Rei Otsuka (National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Aichi, Japan) and team say their findings support a potential role for diet and nutrition in prevention of the metabolic syndrome at the population level.

The study, which appears in the journal Hypertension Research, investigated the role of diet in the etiology of the metabolic syndrome, a subject that is poorly understood, particularly among Asian people.

The team used data from the National Institute for Longevity Sciences Longitudinal Study of Aging (NILS-LSA), which included randomly selected adults living in two regions of Japan.

The present study included 609 men and 631 women aged 40–86 years who were free of cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and diabetes at baseline. In all, 10% of men and 7.3% of women met the modified Third Adult Treatment Panel criteria for the metabolic syndrome (ie, at least three out of five components were present).

The participants were grouped according to the number of metabolic syndrome components present, categorized as 0, 1, 2, and 3–5. The categories were then analyzed with regard to mean food and nutrient intake, based on 3-day dietary records completed by each participant.

After adjusting for age, energy intake, alcohol intake, smoking status, and physical activity, there was an inverse correlation in men (but not women) between the number of metabolic syndrome components present and intake of vitamin B6 and dietary fiber.

Specifically, as the number of metabolic syndrome components increased, vitamin B6 intake fell from 1.36 to 1.21 mg/day, while dietary fiber intake fell from 16.2 to 14.5 mg/day.

In women, after adjustment, there was a negative correlation between the number of metabolic syndrome components present and intake of calcium and milk/dairy products and a positive correlation with intake of cereal.

Specifically, as the number of metabolic syndrome components increased, intake of calcium fell from 609.2 to 549.9 mg/day, intake of milk and dairy products fell from 181.2 to 134.9 mg/day, and intake of cereal increased from 382.3 to 418.4 g/day.

“To our knowledge, this is the first observational study to examine relations between dietary factors and the number of clustering metabolic syndrome components among Japanese men and women,” write Otsuka and co-authors.

They call for future studies to investigate the underlying mechanisms and conclude: “These results suggest the potential effect of diet on the prevention of metabolic syndrome among community-dwelling Japanese men and women.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Joanna Lyford