Phytochemicals with potential effects in metabolic syndrome prevention and therapy

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Abstract

Metabolic syndrome represents a clustering of risk factors related to an elevated danger of cardiovascular diseases and type 2. diabetes. The high incidence of obesity, the key risk factor in metabolic syndrome, and the lack of safe pharmaceutical agents have fuelled an increase in research related to anti-metabolic syndrome drugs. Phytochemicals have biological properties such as antioxidant, modulation of detoxification enzymes, stimulation of the immune system, reduction of platelet aggregation and modulation of hormone metabolism. These compounds include vitamins, comprising of vitamin C, D and E, flavonoids, phenolic acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Furthermore, the latest discoveries and studies on the molecular mechanism of these phytochemicals suggested their potential positive effect in the prevention and treatment of obesity and other risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome. They should be incorporated in food ingredients, dietary supplements, or drug preparations. The main focus of this article is to review the available information on various aspects of phytochemicals, with special reference to their effectiveness in risk reduction of the metabolic syndrome and obesity-related diseases.

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