• adipokines;
  • adiponectin;
  • diet;
  • lifestyle

Dietary management has been considered an alternative means of modulating adiponectin levels. The purpose of this review is to examine the scientific evidence regarding the effect of diet on adiponectin levels in blood. Clinical trials were selected from Medline until April 2010 using the following MeSH terms: adipokines OR adiponectin AND diet OR lifestyle. A total of 220 articles were identified in the initial search, and 52 studies utilizing three different methods of dietary management were included in the present review: low-calorie diets (n = 9 studies), modification of diet composition (n = 33), and diet plus exercise (n = 10). Daily intake of fish or omega-3 supplementation increased adiponectin levels by 14–60%. Weight loss achieved with a low-calorie diet plus exercise increased adiponectin levels in the range of 18–48%. A 60–115% increase in adiponectin levels was obtained with fiber supplementation. In conclusion, dietary management can be an effective therapeutic means of increasing adiponectin levels. Studies investigating different forms of adiponectin and changes in the types of adipose tissue are necessary in order to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the modulation of adiponectin levels.