Mayneris-Perxachs J, Sala-Vila A, Chisaguano M, Castellote AI, Estruch R, Covas MI, et al. Effects of 1-year intervention with a mediterranean diet on plasma fatty acid composition and metabolic syndrome in a population at high cardiovascular risk. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 20;9(3):e85202
Background & Aims: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has become an important public concern due to its increasing prevalence.
An altered fatty acid composition has been associated with MetS, but the Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a
protective effect. The aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of a Mediterranean dietary pattern, as assessed
by the biomarkers of food supplied, on the plasma fatty acid composition and its relation with MetS after 1 year of
Methods: A total of 424 subjects were randomly selected from the PREDIMED randomized dietary trial after completing a 1-
year intervention program. Participants aged 55 to 80 years and at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly
assigned to three dietary interventions: Mediterranean diet supplemented with virgin olive oil or nuts, or a low-fat diet.
Results: After 1 year of intervention participants in the virgin olive oil group showed significantly increased plasma
concentrations of palmitic and oleic acids, but reduced proportions of margaric, stearic, and linoleic acids. In turn, subjects
in the nut group showed significantly increased levels of palmitic, linoleic, and a-linolenic acids, but reduced proportions of
myristic, margaric, palmitoleic, and dihommo-c-linoleic acids. Increases in the biomarkers of foods supplied to the
Mediterranean diet groups, i.e., oleic and a-linolenic acids, were beneficially associated with the incidence, reversion and
prevalence of MetS. No weight changes were observed among participants.
Conclusions: The nut and olive oil diets induced a fatty acid composition that has been shown to be beneficial in the face of
MetS. Therefore, a Mediterranean diet rich in fats of vegetable origin may be a useful tool for the management of MetS
without the need for concerns over weight gain due to its high fat content.