Fat Distribution Affects Weight Loss
The most common risk factor for type two diabetes is obesity. Specifically, those people with a high body mass index (approximately above 27) are at a higher risk for developing this disease. That is why many of the risks of diabetes and the symptoms of metabolic disorder and pre-diabetes can be improved by simply losing some weight. It is not even necessary to lose a lot of weight, losing as little as five percent of total body weight is enough to decrease diabetes risks significantly. However, the results that exercise and diet have vary wildly from patient to patient. While simply changing a few aspects of a given lifestyle and eating less will give results to many patients, there is a high percentage of patients that see little or no results. At least not the results one would expect normally. Researchers in Germany have proposed magnetic resonance imaging as a way of understanding why this is the case. Applying this technology would also allow doctors to more accurately predict whether diet and exercise are enough or whether some other kind of intervention or treatment will be necessary.
A very common case among patients is the case of two patients with the same weight and body mass index. However, the main differences are the levels of fat and how they are distributed in the body. Researchers in Germany have come to the conclusion that measuring fat in the abdomen and around the liver is very important for predicting the results of a lifestyle intervention. In a study that was conducted by these same researchers, they examined the results of a weight loss intervention in a number of participants that were at risk for diabetes. People with obesity, insulin resistance or a problem tolerating glucose, or those with close relatives with diabetes, were considered to be at risk for the purposes of this study.
Researchers came to the conclusion that participants with a higher index of abdominal fat and fat around the liver had a harder time losing weight and keeping it off. They also came to the conclusion that magnetic resonance imaging is the best way today to directly observe and measure the different levels of fat in the abdomen and in and around the liver. Magnetic resonance imaging also gives doctors the ability to tell apart tissue that has fat with tissue that is lean, and to compare the percentages of these with the total person’s weight.
When analyzing the results of this study, researchers did not base their observations entirely on weight loss. They also measure the improvement in their glucose metabolism, specifically the degree in which insulin resistance decreased. Individuals with lower levels of abdominal and liver fat also showed the best improvements in their metabolism, specifically in regards to insulin sensitivity. Again, the levels of abdominal fat and fat in the liver were also a good indicator for predicting who would reduce their insulin resistance successfully after the lifestyle intervention. This study establishes magnetic resonance imaging as a powerful treatment tool for doctors treating patients with obesity and type two diabetes.
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