What is the role of fatty liver in insulin sensitivity and beta cell function in obese adolescents?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

In a study by D’Adamo et al that evaluated the role of fatty liver in the alteration of insulin sensitivity and β-cell function in obese patients, the investigators concluded that fatty liver, independent of visceral fat and intramyocellular lipid content (ICML), has a central role in insulin resistance in obese adolescents. [11] Patients were divided into 2 groups: 23 obese adolescents with and 20 obese adolescents with low HFF were matched for age, Tanner stage, BMI score, and percentage of body fat, visceral fat, and IMCL. The group with a high hepatic fat fraction (HFF) had lower whole-body insulin sensitivity index and lower estimates of insulin secretion, as well as a significantly lower glucose disposal rate, than the group with low HFF.

While insulin resistance represents an important associated finding in adolescents with steatosis, a recent study reported that in younger children with fatty liver, markers for oxidative stress (eg, oxidized glutathione) were the most significant, independent risk factors. [12]


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