The metabolic syndrome (MetS) represents a cluster of medical disorders, such as hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and abdominal obesity that, when occurring together, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The role of food and nutrients in the aetiology of chronic diseases has become clearer over the last 15 years. In this review we collected evidence on the beneficial impact ofthe Mediterranean diet on MetS by analyzing epidemiological reports documenting its prevalence in subjects who have adopted this dietary pattern. We also explored the role of the individual components of the diet on the specific aspects characterizing the MetS (i.e. metabolic indices, body weight and blood pressure). There is ample evidence showing that subjects adherent to the Mediterranean diet have lower prevalence and incidence rates of MetS than non-adherent. Moreover, it has been widely documented that specific components of this dietary pattern play a role in the prevention of several morbid conditions related to the MetS.
Keywords: Mediterranean diet, chronic disease, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, prevention.
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