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Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(2):135-41.

Exercise training with weight loss and either a high- or low-glycemic index diet reduces metabolic syndrome severity in older adults.

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Department of Pathobiology, Cleveland Clinic, and Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



The efficacy of combining carbohydrate quality with exercise on metabolic syndrome risk is unclear. Thus, we determined the effects of exercise training with a low (LoGIx)- or high (HiGIx)-glycemic index diet on the severity of the metabolic syndrome (Z-score).


Twenty-one adults (66.2±1.1 years; BMI=35.3±0.9 kg/m2) with the metabolic syndrome were randomized to 12 weeks of exercise (60 min/day for 5 days/week at about 85% HRmax) and provided a LoGIx (n=11) or HiGIx (n=10) diet. Z-scores were determined from: blood pressure, triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and waist circumference (WC) before and after the intervention. Body composition, aerobic fitness, insulin resistance, and nonesterfied fatty acid (NEFA) suppression were also assessed.


LoGIx and HiGIx diets decreased body mass and insulin resistance and increased aerobic fitness comparably (p<0.05). LoGIx and HiGIx diets decreased the Z-score similarly as each intervention decreased blood pressure, TGs, FPG and WC (p<0.05). The HiGIx diet tended to suppress NEFA during insulin stimulation compared with the LoGIx diet (p=0.06).


Our findings highlight that exercise with weight loss reduces the severity of the metabolic syndrome whether individuals were randomized to a HiGIx or a LoGIx diet.

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