Plant food intakes and the metabolic syndrome

Cereal, fruit and vegetable fibre intake and the risk of the metabolic syndrome: a prospective study in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study

Hosseinpour-Niazi et al., JHND Early View



The present study aimed to determine whether total fibre or specific fibre food sources are associated with the incidence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) after 3 years of follow-up in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study.


This population-based prospective study, conducted within the framework of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study, included 1582 adults, who were aged 19–84 years and free of MetS at baseline. Usual dietary fibre intake was assessed at baseline using a 168-item food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometrics, blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose and lipid profiles were measured at baseline and 3 years later. The MetS was defined according to the definition of the revised Adult treatment Panel III.


During the 3-year follow-up, there was 15.2% incidence of MetS. Among sources of dietary fibre, fruit fibre was significantly and inversely associated with the occurrence of MetS, after adjustment for confounding factors, with a 21% lower risk [odds ratio (OR) = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.60–0.97] in the highest tertile of intake compared to the lowest tertile. Subjects in the highest tertile of cereal fibre intake had lower odds of MetS compared to those in the lowest tertile (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.52– 0.97) and this association disappeared after adjustment for confounders. No significant association was found between intakes of vegetables, legumes and nut fibre with the incidence of MetS.


Among specific fibre food sources, fruit fibre had a protective effect against the risk of MetS.



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