Effective Intervention Strategies Combining Mediterranean Diet and Exercise for Reducing Obesity, Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risks in High-Risk Populations: Mini Review

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    Abstract

    The global rise in obesity and cardiovascular disease is not showing any sign of slowing
    down, and effective health interventions may provide an important part of the solution. Whilst
    comprehensive evidence about the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet (MD) continues
    to emerge for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the combined MD benefits with
    physical activity and exercise benefits remain under-investigated. Recent evidence suggests a
    cardio metabolic risk improvement through combining aerobic exercise with MD, though the
    problems related to dropout, remain critical. Many interventions conducted in populations at
    high Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk such as older patients, postmenopausal women, obese
    patients and those with metabolic syndrome have shown promising effects when combining
    exercise training strategies with MD, particularly in improving vascular endothelial function,
    markers of inflammation, glucose control and cardiorespiratory capacity. However, it is still
    unknown whether the specific benefits are attributable to exercise alone or to MD alone. Various physical activity and exercise training protocols including moderate aerobic, high-intensity
    interval training and strength training have shown effectiveness in reversing the cardiovascular risk in a variety of high-risk populations. Nonetheless, combining the exercise-dependent
    health effects with MD requires further investigation, particularly in considering the independent or joint changes in the CVD risk-biomarkers associated with either exercise training, MD
    compliance, or joint effectiveness on endothelial vascular function disease pro-inflammatory
    and anti-inflammatory biomarkers, and the identification of the most appropriate exercise training protocols in terms of mode, duration and intensity in high-risk populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-9
    Number of pages5
    JournalObesity Research Open Journal
    Volume1
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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