Biomedical Research

Journal Banner

Effect of low glycemic index and food exchange system diets on metabolic syndrome components in Saudi medical students

Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), a condition that manifests as a set of metabolic risk factors, is considered a global epidemic. The prevalence of MetS in Saudi Arabia has grown rapidly over the past decade. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of Low Glycemic Index (LGI) and Food Exchange System (FES) diets on MetS components in patients with MetS in the Saudi population. We selected 69 subjects and divided them into 3 groups: LGI diet, FES diet, and control. Each group consisted of 23 subjects (12 women). Both treatment groups followed diet and physical activity regimens for 5 days per week for 6 weeks. Serum samples were taken pre- and post-treatment in all 3 groups and used for biochemical analyses. The results of study found significant difference in post-treatment values of hypertension i.e. SBP (p=0.007), DBP (p=0.01), Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) (p=0.005), Triglycerides (TG) (p=0.0006) and Total Cholesterol (TC) (p=0.0006). There were no significant differences between groups in waist circumference (p=0.23) and high density lipoprotein (p=0.12). When the data from men and women were examined separately, we found significant differences between groups in the pretreatment values of TC (p=0.01) and the post-treatment values of FBG (p=0.65) and TG (p=0.99). We conclude that the LGI and FES diets are beneficial for patients with MetS, with a more potent impact produced by the LGI diet. We recommend implementing nutritional awareness and motivational counselling programs to help to improve the health of people with MetS in the Saudi population.

Author(s): Abdulaziz A. Alodhayani, Adnan S. Bajaber, Rasha Saleh Al-Hussan