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Can J Appl Physiol. 2004 Dec;29(6):808-29.

Metabolic syndrome, a cardiovascular disease risk factor: role of adipocytokines and impact of diet and physical activity.

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Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


The metabolic syndrome comprises an array of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors such as abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and glucose intolerance. Insulin resistance and/or increased abdominal (visceral) obesity have been suggested as potential etiological factors. More recently, increasing evidence has associated insulin resistance and subclinical inflammation involving cytokines derived from adipose tissue, or adipocytokines. Despite the fact that precise mechanisms have yet to be established, there is a significant role for both diet and physical activity to improve the many factors associated with the metabolic syndrome, including modulation of various adipocytokines. Although both diet and physical activity have been studied for their ability to modify cytokines in more traditional inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, they have been less studied in relation to inflammation as an underlying cause of the metabolic syndrome and/or CVD. A more thorough understanding of the clustering of metabolic abnormalities and their underlying etiology will help to define diet and physical activity guidelines for preventing and treating the metabolic syndrome, an important aspect of CVD prevention. This paper will address potential underlying causes of the metabolic syndrome, with a focus on the putative mechanistic role of adipocytokines, and will discuss the impact of diet and physical activity on the metabolic syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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