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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Mar;108(3):495-509. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.12.007.

Complementary and alternative medicine and the management of the metabolic syndrome.

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University Medical Center at Princeton, Princeton, NJ, USA.


More than one third of the population has the metabolic syndrome. Although aspects of the metabolic syndrome (MSDR) are readily treatable with evidence-based interventions, many patients and practitioners are looking for alternatives to pills and injectables. Complementary and alternative medicine may offer patients safe and effective options to target components of MSDR. This review covers the definition, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and population-based consequences of MSDR, defines complementary and alternative medicine, and applies evidence-based principles to the discussion of a number of alternative therapies purported to treat aspects of MSDR. It is time that the medical community becomes familiar with current fads in dietary supplements and nutraceuticals and begins to use the descriptors proven vs unproven in reference to alternative therapies. The proven alternative therapies discussed herein can provide a starting point for patients to gain ownership of their disease and to make positive choices into the future to halt the effects of MSDR.

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