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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 676208, 11 pages
Review Article

Dietary Exercise as a Novel Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome: Effects on Skeletal Muscle Function

1Laboratory of Health Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan
2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan

Received 5 January 2011; Revised 29 March 2011; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Maurizio Muscaritoli

Copyright © 2011 Wataru Aoi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A sedentary lifestyle can cause metabolic syndrome to develop. Metabolic syndrome is associated with metabolic function in the skeletal muscle, a major consumer of nutrients. Dietary exercise, along with an adequate diet, is reported to be one of the major preventive therapies for metabolic syndrome; exercise improves the metabolic capacity of muscles and prevents the loss of muscle mass. Epidemiological studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of various common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer; it also helps in reducing visceral adipose tissue. In addition, laboratory studies have demonstrated the mechanisms underlying the benefits of single-bout and regular exercise. Exercise regulates the expression/activity of proteins associated with metabolic and anabolic signaling in muscle, leading to a change in phenotype. The extent of these changes depends on the intensity, the duration, and the frequency of the exercise. The effect of exercise is also partly due to a decrease in inflammation, which has been shown to be closely related to the development of various diseases. Furthermore, it has been suggested that several phytochemicals contained in natural foods can improve nutrient metabolism and prevent protein degradation in the muscle.