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Ethnic differences found for fatty liver disease and insulin resistance
Date:2/25/2009

ice abdominal MR imaging to determine each patient's hepatic triglyceride contant (HTGC) and fat distribution throughout the body.

They found that there was a close association between intraperitoneal fat and liver fat regardless of ethnicity. "Controlling for intraperitoneal fat content almost entirely eliminated ethnic differences in levels of HTGC and prevalence of hepatic steatosis," they report. "This was not the case with insulin resistance, total adiposity or other fat depots."

Interestingly, they found that the metabolic response to obesity and insulin resistance differed in African-Americans when compared to Hispanics and Caucasions. African-Americans appeared to be more resistant to the buildup of triglycerides in the abdominal visceral compartment and also to high triglyceride levels associated with insulin resistance.

They suggest that there is an insulin resistance phenotype. It could be a function of the organ that primarily contributes to lower insulin sensitivity. Or, it could be a function of the body's ability to expand subcutaneous fat in response to overnutrition. "Further study is needed to establish the basis for this insulin resistance paradox," they write.


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Contact: Sean Wagner
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