Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2012 - Volume 15 - Issue 6 > The role of cardiac fat in insulin resistance
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care:
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328358be7b
NUTRITION AND PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION: Edited by Annemie Schols and Labros S Sidossis

The role of cardiac fat in insulin resistance

Gastaldelli, Amalia; Morales, Maria A.; Marraccini, Paolo; Sicari, Rosa

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Abstract

Purpose of review: To evaluate the relationship between cardiac fat accumulation and insulin resistance. We discuss the current knowledge regarding the different techniques for measuring, in vivo in humans, cardiac fat deposition, the effects of systemic and myocardial insulin resistance and the clinical relevance of the relation between atherosclerosis and cardiac fat in conditions of insulin resistance.

Recent findings: In humans, fat accumulates mainly around the heart, as epicardial, perivascular and intrathoracic fat, but also inside the cardiomyocytes. All these cardiac fat depots have been shown to be markers of cardiac lipotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and local and systemic insulin resistance as well as of atherosclerosis and cardiac dysfunction.

Summary: Although cardiac fat is associated with impairment in heart metabolism and cardiac dysfunction, the interplay among cardiac fat accumulation, insulin resistance and cardiac dysfunction remains to be fully established.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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