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Commentary on the clinical management of metabolic syndrome: why a healthy lifestyle is important

Michel de Lorgeril

Author Affiliations

Laboratoire Cœur et Nutrition, TIMC-IMAG CNRS 5525, Université Joseph Fourier, Faculté de Médecine, 38054 La Tronche, Grenoble, France

BMC Medicine 2012, 10:139  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-139

Published: 14 November 2012


Metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. There is no recognized method to manage MS. Many physicians treat the individual characteristics of MS (high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and so on) instead of the syndrome as a whole, placing particular emphasis on those components that are easily amenable to drug treatment. However, regular physical exercise and a healthy diet have been demonstrated to improve the health of a number of populations, but few studies have assessed their effects in patients with MS. A meta-analysis by Yamaoka and Tango in BMC Medicine found that a lifestyle change program (dietary counseling and encouragement to exercise) resulted in improvements in components of MS and in reducing the proportion of patients with MS. The effects may not be impressive in absolute terms, but the data should be interpreted with the heterogeneity of the included studies in mind. Because of the many adverse side effects of the drugs used to correct individual aspects of MS, this meta-analysis provides strong evidence that lifestyle changes must be the first-line approach to manage MS.

See related article webcite

metabolic syndrome; meta-analysis; lifestyle; triglycerides; obesity; overweight; insulin resistance; diabetes; hypertension; high-density lipoprotein