The increasing prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), defined as the clustering of abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and hyperglycemia, appears to be driving the global epidemics cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Nutrition has a major impact on MetS and plays an important role in the prevention, development, and treatment of its features. Structural and functional alterations in the vasculature, associated with MetS, might form the link between MetS and the increased risk of developing CVD and T2DM. Not only does the peripheral vasculature seem to be affected, but the syndrome has a profound impact on the cerebral circulation and thence brain structure as well. Furthermore, strong associations are shown with stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia. In this review the impact of nutrition on the individual components of MetS, the effects of MetS on peripheral and cerebral vasculature, and its consequences for brain structure and function will be discussed.
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