Effects of diet intervention on body composition and ectopic fat accumulation in obese postmenopausal women
Sammanfattning: Background Obesity is increasing worldwide and is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. Notably, abdominal (central) obesity carries a high risk of obesity-related diseases, while peripheral fat accumulation can act in a protective manner. A redistribution of fat from peripheral to central depots is seen after the menopause and is associated with an increasing prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A key mediator may be ectopic fat accumulation in the liver. Our hypothesis was that a Palaeolithic-type diet (PD) consumed ad libitum improves body composition and metabolic risk markers, including liver fat and insulin sensitivity, in obese postmenopausal women.Methods In study I the study subjects (n=10) used a PD during 5 weeks. In study II and III (n=70) the effect of a Palaeolithic-type diet (PD) was compared to a diet according to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations diet (NNR) during a 2-year randomized clinical trial (RCT). Food records and nitrogen excretion in urine validated food intake. Anthropometric measurements were performed in a standardized manner. Body composition was calculated using Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Total energy expenditure was calculated by accelerometry (Actiheart®) in combination with indirect calorimetry. Liver and muscle fat content was estimated by magnet resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Insulin sensitivity was measured either with hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps (paper I) or oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) (paper III).Results In study I a significant weight loss, linked to improved lipid and blood pressure levels, was associated with a 49% decrease in liver fat. Concomitantly, hepatic insulin sensitivity improved, while peripheral insulin sensitivity (and muscle fat) was unaltered. In study II/III both groups had a significant and sustained weight loss after 2 years. The PD was more effective than the NNR diet regarding loss of weight and fat mass after 6 months, but not after 24 months. Serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower at 24 months in the PD group. Liver fat decreased throughout the study in both groups. Hepatic insulin sensitivity improved during the first 6 months of the study, while peripheral insulin sensitivity did not change. Hepatic insulin sensitivity was associated with liver fat at baseline, but not during the diet intervention. Energy expenditure did not change in any of the study groups.Conclusion Ad libitum diets can have sustained beneficial effects on weight and body composition in obese postmenopausal women, a PD being more effective on short-term than a diet according to the NNR. This is associated with a reduction in liver fat that may reduce the risk of future diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Further studies are needed in order to explore the association between liver fat and metabolic dysfunction, including insulin sensitivity.
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