“In the present study we observed that the second layer of fat around the heart, the peracardial fat, behaved similarly in response to exercise training as intra-abdominal, or visceral fat,” Dr. Lamb said. “The fat content in the liver also decreased substantially after exercise.”
Dr. Lamb noted that the exercise-induced fat reductions in the liver are of particular importance to people with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are overweight or obese.
“The liver plays a central role in regulating total body fat distribution,” he said. “Therefore, reduction of liver fat content and visceral fat volume by physical exercise are very important to reverse the adverse effects of lipid accumulation elsewhere, such as the heart and arterial vessel wall.”
The findings point to an important role for imaging in identifying appropriate treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, which the World Health Organization projects to be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.
“In the future, we hope to be able to use advanced imaging techniques to predict in individual patients which therapeutic strategy is most effective: diet, medication, exercise, surgery or certain combinations,” Dr. Lamb said.
“Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Changes in Tissue-Specific Fat Distribution and Cardiac Function.” Collaborating with Dr. Lamb were Jacqueline T. Jonker, M.D., Pieter de Mol, M.D., Suzanna T. de Vries, M.D., Ralph L.Widya, M.D., Sebastiaan Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., Linda D. van Schinkel, M.D., Rutger W. van der Meer, M.D., Ph.D., Rijk O.B. Gans, M.D., Ph.D., Andrew G. Webb, Ph.D., Hermien E. Kan, Ph.D., Eelco J.P. de Koning, M.D., Ph.D., and Henk J.G. Bilo, M.D., Ph.D.
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