Association of metabolic syndrome risk factors with selected markers of oxidative status and microinflammation in healthy omnivores and vegetarians

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Sep;50(9):858-68. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200500170.


Conditions predisposing to metabolic syndrome (MetS) are associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation. We studied, in vegetarians (n = 90) and omnivores (n = 46), the impact of the dietary regimen on the occurrence of MetS risk factors (RFs: BMI, blood pressure, glucose metabolism and lipid profile) in relation to oxidative status (advanced glycation end products (AGEs), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs), malondialdehyde, ferric reducing ability of plasma, vitamins A, E, C, beta-carotene and superoxide dismutase activity) and microinflammation (C-reactive protein, leukocytes and neopterin). The proportion of subjects without/positive for one or two MetS RFs was comparable between the groups. From the components of MetS only immunoreactive insulin levels differed significantly (95% CI: omnivores: 5.0-7.1 microU/mL, vegetarians: 4.5-5.4, p = 0.03). Omnivores had lower AOPP (omnivores: 0.29-0.36 micromol/g albumin, vegetarians: 0.36-0.52, p = 0.01) and beta-carotene levels than vegetarians, they consumed more calories, proteins, fat and saturated fatty acids, and less fibres, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Multiple regression analysis revealed vitamin E and AOPP levels as the most important independent determinants of MetS RFs. The vegetarian diet seems to exert beneficial effects on MetS RFs associated microinflammation. Whether the vegetarian diet may counteract the deleterious effects of elevated AOPPs and AGEs, remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Energy Intake
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / blood
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lipids / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Neopterin / blood
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Risk Factors
  • Serum Albumin / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Serum Albumin
  • Neopterin