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Brain insulin sensitivity is linked to adiposity and body fat distribution

Stephanie Kullmann ● Vera Valenta ● Robert Wagner ● Otto Tschritter ● 
Jürgen Machann ● Hans-Ulrich Häring ● Hubert Preissl ● Andreas Fritsche 
and Martin Heni

Brain insulin action regulates eating behavior and energy fluxes throughout the body.
However, numerous people are brain insulin resistant. How brain insulin responsiveness affects long-term weight and body fat composition in humans is still unknown. Here we show that high brain insulin sensitivity before lifestyle intervention associates with a more pronounced reduction in total and visceral fat during the program. High brain insulin sensitivity is also associated with less regain of fat mass during a nine year follow-up. Cross-sectionally, strong insulin responsiveness of the hypothalamus associates with less visceral fat, while subcutaneous fat is unrelated. Our results demonstrate that high brain insulin sensitivity is linked to weight loss during lifestyle intervention and associates with a favorable body fat distribution. Since visceral fat is strongly linked to diabetes, cardiovascular risk and cancer, these findings have implications beyond metabolic diseases and indicate the necessity of strategies to resolve brain insulin resistance.


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