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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2014, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (3): 171-174.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60012-1

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The use of complementary and alternative medicine by individuals with features of metabolic syndrome

Rajadurai Akilena, Zeller Pimlotta, Amalia Tsiamia, Nicola Robinsonb   

  1. Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of West London, TW8 9GA, London, UK
    Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, SE1 6LN, London, UK
  • Received:2013-12-12 Accepted:2013-12-30 Online:2014-05-10 Published:2014-05-15


To compare the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including dietary supplements, by individuals with and without features of metabolic syndrome (FeMS).


Using a cross sectional study design, information was obtained by self-administered questionnaires from 300 university individuals. FeMS was defined as any individuals self-reporting at least one of the clinical diagnoses of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or obesity. Finally, two categories were created for cross tabulation, and individuals with and without FeMS were compared.


Of the 192 individuals completing the study, 39% (n=76) were currently using or had used CAM therapies in the past 12 months. Individuals with FeMS (n=54, 28%) were more likely (P<0.05) to use different types of CAM therapies, in particular dietary and herbal supplements, aromatherapy and massage therapy compared to individuals without FeMS (n=138, 72%).


Individuals with FeMS were more likely to use CAM, particularly supplements. Doctors need to properly inquire about and understand their patients’ supplement use, especially if CAM therapies are used in conjunction with conventional medications.

Key words: Metabolic syndrome X, Complementary therapies, Dietary supplements, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity

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