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Lipids and cardiovascular/metabolic health

A calorie-restriction diet supplemented with fish oil and high-protein powder is associated with reduced severity of metabolic syndrome in obese women



The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and obesity has increased worldwide, as well as in Taiwan, particularly in women aged>40 years. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of a calorie-restriction diet (CR) supplemented with protein and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on women with MetS.


A total of 143 eligible female participants were recruited and assigned to four dietary interventions such as 1500-kcal CR, calorie-restriction meal-replacement diet (CRMR), calorie-restriction diet with fish oil supplementation (CRF) and calorie-restriction meal-replacement diet with fish oil supplementation (CRMRF). The changes in anthropometric measures, metabolic profiles, inflammatory response and the Z-score of severity of MetS were evaluated.


Among 143 female MetS patients enrolled, 136 patients completed the 12-week study. After the 12-week dietary interventions, we observed reductions in body weight (BW), body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) in all groups. BMI and triglyceride (TG) levels decreased significantly in the CRMR, CRF and CRMRF groups, but not in the CR group. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) had significantly improved in all four groups, and the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) had significantly decreased in the CRF and CRMRF groups. Following the interventions, the changes in waist circumference (WC), mean arterial pressure (MAP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), TGs, HOMA-IR, CRP and IL-6 significantly correlated with the reductions in Z-score of MetS severity.


Our study results indicate that a calorie-restriction dietary intervention combined with various macronutrients can reduce the severity of MetS in women and increase recovery from MetS by almost twofold in comparison with a CR alone.

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We thank the Drs Wing P Chan and Chien-Tien Su for their assistance in Taipei Medical University Hospital and Wan Fan Hospital in Taiwan throughout this study. This study was supported by Herbalife Taiwan Co., Ltd and grants from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC101-2320-B-038-020-MY2, NSC101-2811-B-038-006, NSC102-2313-B-038-003-MY2 and MOST 103-2320-B-038 -012 -MY3).

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Correspondence to S-Y Huang.

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Dr Shih-Yi Huang (SYH) received consulting and lecture fees from Herbalife Taiwan Ltd.

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Su, HY., Lee, HC., Cheng, WY. et al. A calorie-restriction diet supplemented with fish oil and high-protein powder is associated with reduced severity of metabolic syndrome in obese women. Eur J Clin Nutr 69, 322–328 (2015).

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