Background: Metabolic syndrome, a constellation of metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is one of the fastest growing disease entities in the world. Weight loss is thought to be a key to improving all aspects of metabolic syndrome. Research studies have suggested benefits from diets rich in vegetables and fruits in helping individuals reach and achieve healthy weights.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of a ready to serve vegetable juice as part of a calorie-appropriate Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet in an ethnically diverse population of people with Metabolic Syndrome on weight loss and their ability to meet vegetable intake recommendations, and on their clinical characteristics of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL, fasting blood glucose and blood pressure).A secondary goal was to examine the impact of the vegetable juice on associated parameters, including leptin, vascular adhesion markers, and markers of the oxidative defense system and of oxidative stress.
Methods: A prospective 12 week, 3 group (0, 8, or 16 fluid ounces of low sodium vegetable juice) parallel arm randomized controlled trial. Participants were requested to limit their calorie intake to 1600 kcals for women and 1800 kcals for men and were educated on the DASH diet. A total of 81 (22 men & 59 women) participants with Metabolic Syndrome were enrolled into the study. Dietary nutrient and vegetable intake, weight, height, leptin, metabolic syndrome clinical characteristics and related markers of endothelial and cardiovascular health were measured at baseline, 6-, and 12-weeks.
Results: There were significant group by time interactions when aggregating both groups consuming vegetable juice (8 or 16 fluid ounces daily). Those consuming juice lost more weight, consumed more Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary vegetables than individuals who were in the group that only received diet counseling (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The incorporation of vegetable juice into the daily diet can be a simple and effective way to increase the number of daily vegetable servings. Data from this study also suggest the potential of using a low sodium vegetable juice in conjunction with a calorie restricted diet to aid in weight loss in overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome.