The Combined Intervention of Aqua Exercise and Burdock Extract Synergistically Improved Arterial Stiffness: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial
Metabolic syndrome (MS), characterized by the presence of risk factors for various metabolic disorders, including impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance, has a high incidence in the Asian population. Among the various approaches used for improving MS, the combination of exercise and nutrition is of increasing importance. In this randomized controlled trial, we evaluated the effects of combined aqua exercise and burdock extract intake on blood pressure, insulin resistance, arterial stiffness, and vascular regulation factors in older women with MS. A total of 42 participants were randomly assigned into one of four groups (control, exercise, burdock, and exercise + burdock) and underwent a 16-week double-blinded intervention. Blood pressure, insulin resistance, arterial stiffness, and vascular regulation factors were evaluated before and after the intervention. The 16-week intervention of aqua exercise decreased the levels of insulin, glucose, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and thromboxane A2, but increased the levels of the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index and prostaglandin I2. The combined burdock extract intake and aqua exercise intervention had an additional effect, improving the augmentation index, augmentation index at 75 beats per min, and pulse wave velocity. In conclusion, aqua exercise could improve insulin resistance and vascular regulation factors in older women with MS. Furthermore, combined treatment with burdock extract intake could improve arterial stiffness via a synergistic effect.