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Concept: Metabolic syndrome


Kidney dysfunction in obesity may be independent of and may precede the development of hypertension and/or diabetes mellitus. We aimed to examine if abdominal obesity is associated with early markers of CKD in a young healthy population and whether these associations differ by race and/or ethnicity.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Nutrition, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome, Childhood obesity


The higher risk of death resulting from excess adiposity may be attenuated by physical activity (PA). However, the theoretical number of deaths reduced by eliminating physical inactivity compared with overall and abdominal obesity remains unclear.

Concepts: Oncology, Nutrition, Death, Obesity, Overweight, Weight loss, Metabolic syndrome, Abdomen


High-protein (HP) intake during weight loss (WL) therapy is often recommended because it reduces the loss of lean tissue mass. However, HP intake could have adverse effects on metabolic function, because protein ingestion reduces postprandial insulin sensitivity. In this study, we compared the effects of ∼10% WL with a hypocaloric diet containing 0.8 g protein/kg/day and a hypocaloric diet containing 1.2 g protein/kg/day on muscle insulin action in postmenopausal women with obesity. We found that HP intake reduced the WL-induced decline in lean tissue mass by ∼45%. However, HP intake also prevented the WL-induced improvements in muscle insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, as well as the WL-induced adaptations in oxidative stress and cell structural biology pathways. Our data demonstrate that the protein content of a WL diet can have profound effects on metabolic function and underscore the importance of considering dietary macronutrient composition during WL therapy for people with obesity.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Metabolic syndrome


Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are believed to be common and associated with a worse metabolic profile in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, no previous study has systematically screened this population.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver


OBJECTIVE The possible interaction of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and obesity in regard to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance has not been well studied. To explore the effect modification of obesity on the association between 25(OH)D and insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, data were examined from a nationally representative sample. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The analytic sample for the type 2 diabetes analysis (n = 12,900) was limited to participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2006 over 20 years of age. Participants >20 years of age assigned to the morning session and free of diabetes were limited to the insulin resistance analysis (n = 5,806). Multiplicative interaction was assessed through a cross-product interaction term in a multiple logistic regression model. The presence of additive interaction between insufficient 25(OH)D and obesity (indicated by BMI or waist circumference) was evaluated by calculation of the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) and attributable proportion due to interaction (AP). RESULTS There was no multiplicative interaction of insufficient 25(OH)D and obesity on type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. Furthermore, none of the RERI or AP values were statistically significant in the diabetes analysis. However, there was strong additive interaction between abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D (RERI 6.45 [95% CI 1.03-11.52]) in regard to insulin resistance. In addition, 47% of the increased odds of insulin resistance can be explained by interaction between insufficient 25(OH)D and high BMI (AP 0.47 [95% CI 0.08-0.87]). CONCLUSIONS Within a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample, abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D interact to synergistically influence the risk of insulin resistance.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Vitamin D, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome


Data on cardiac function in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are limited and conflicting. We assessed whether NAFLD is associated with abnormalities in cardiac function in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Obesity, Metabolic syndrome, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver, Steatosis


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is marked by hepatic fat accumulation not due to alcohol abuse. Several studies have demonstrated that NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance leading to a resistance in the antilipolytic effect of insulin in the adipose tissue with an increase of free fatty acids (FFAs). The increase of FFAs induces mitochondrial dysfunction and development of lipotoxicity. Moreover, in subjects with NAFLD, ectopic fat also accumulates as cardiac and pancreatic fat. In this review we analyzed the mechanisms that relate NAFLD with metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia and its association with the development and progression of cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Insulin, Heart, Obesity, Fat, Metabolic syndrome, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver


Lipopolysaccharide endotoxin is the only known bacterial product which, when subcutaneously infused into mice in its purified form, can induce obesity and insulin resistance via an inflammation-mediated pathway. Here we show that one endotoxin-producing bacterium isolated from a morbidly obese human’s gut induced obesity and insulin resistance in germfree mice. The endotoxin-producing Enterobacter decreased in relative abundance from 35% of the volunteer’s gut bacteria to non-detectable, during which time the volunteer lost 51.4 kg of 174.8 kg initial weight and recovered from hyperglycemia and hypertension after 23 weeks on a diet of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods and prebiotics. A decreased abundance of endotoxin biosynthetic genes in the gut of the volunteer was correlated with a decreased circulating endotoxin load and alleviated inflammation. Mono-association of germfree C57BL/6J mice with strain Enterobacter cloacae B29 isolated from the volunteer’s gut induced fully developed obesity and insulin resistance on a high-fat diet but not on normal chow diet, whereas the germfree control mice on a high-fat diet did not exhibit the same disease phenotypes. The Enterobacter-induced obese mice showed increased serum endotoxin load and aggravated inflammatory conditions. The obesity-inducing capacity of this human-derived endotoxin producer in gnotobiotic mice suggests that it may causatively contribute to the development of obesity in its human host.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 13 December 2012; doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.153.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Metabolic syndrome


Growth hormone (GH) is an important regulator of metabolism and body composition. GH deficiency is associated with increased visceral body fat and other features of the metabolic syndrome. Here we performed a cross-sectional study to explore the association of GH levels with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is considered to be the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. A total of 1,667 subjects were diagnosed as NAFLD according the diagnostic criteria, and 5,479 subjects were defined as the controls. The subjects with NAFLD had significantly lower levels of serum GH than the controls. Those with low GH levels had a higher prevalence of NAFLD and the metabolic syndrome. A stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that GH levels were significantly associated with the risk factor for NAFLD (OR = 0.651, 95%CI = 0.574-0.738, P<0.001). Our results showed a significant association between lower serum GH levels and NAFLD.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Obesity, Fat, Growth hormone, Metabolic syndrome, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver


Wide-scale profiling technologies including metabolomics broaden the possibility of novel discoveries related to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). By applying non-targeted metabolomics approach, we investigated here whether serum metabolite profile predicts T2D in a well-characterized study population with impaired glucose tolerance by examining two groups of individuals who took part in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS); those who either early developed T2D (n = 96) or did not convert to T2D within the 15-year follow-up (n = 104). Several novel metabolites were associated with lower likelihood of developing T2D, including indole and lipid related metabolites. Higher indolepropionic acid was associated with reduced likelihood of T2D in the DPS. Interestingly, in those who remained free of T2D, indolepropionic acid and various lipid species were associated with better insulin secretion and sensitivity, respectively. Furthermore, these metabolites were negatively correlated with low-grade inflammation. We replicated the association between indolepropionic acid and T2D risk in one Finnish and one Swedish population. We suggest that indolepropionic acid, a gut microbiota-produced metabolite, is a potential biomarker for the development of T2D that may mediate its protective effect by preservation of β-cell function. Novel lipid metabolites associated with T2D may exert their effects partly through enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Concepts: Metabolism, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Glucose tolerance test, Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome