Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors which often includes central obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, as well as a pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant, and pro-thrombotic environment. This leads to a dramatically increased risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death both in the United States and worldwide. Increasing evidence suggests that berry fruit consumption has a significant potential in the prevention and treatment of most risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome and its cardiovascular complications in the human population. This is likely due to the presence of polyphenols with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, such as anthocyanins and/or phenolic acids. The present review summarizes the findings of recent dietary interventions with berry fruits on human subjects with or at risk of Metabolic Syndrome. It also discusses the potential role of berries as part of a dietary strategy which could greatly reduce the need for pharmacotherapy, associated with potentially deleterious side effects and constituting a considerable financial burden.
Keywords: Metabolic Syndrome; berries; dietary intervention studies; humans.