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Association of lower limb muscle mass and energy expenditure with visceral fat mass in healthy men

Shusuke Yagi1*, Muneyuki Kadota1, Ken-ichi Aihara2, Koji Nishikawa3, Tomoya Hara1, Takayuki Ise1, Yuka Ueda1, Takashi Iwase1, Masashi Akaike4, Michio Shimabukuro5, Shinsuke Katoh3 and Masataka Sata1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokushima Graduate School of Health Biosciences, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan

2 Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Sciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School of Health Biosciences, Tokushima, Japan

3 Department of Rehabilitation, Tokushima University Hospital, Tokushima, Japan

4 Department of Medical Education, The University of Tokushima Graduate School of Health Biosciences, Tokushima, Japan

5 Department of Cardio-Diabetes Medicine, The University of Tokushima Graduate School of Health Biosciences, Tokushima, Japan

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Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2014, 6:27  doi:10.1186/1758-5996-6-27

Published: 26 February 2014

Abstract

Background

A high-calorie diet and physical inactivity, an imbalance between caloric intake and energy consumption, are major causes of metabolic syndrome (MetS), which manifests as accumulation of visceral fat and insulin resistance. However, the lifestyle-related factors associated with visceral fat mass in healthy men are not fully understood.

Methods

We evaluated visceral fat area (VFA), skeletal muscle mass, caloric intake, and energy expenditure in 67 healthy male participants (mean age, 36.9 ± 8.8 years; body mass index 23.4 ± 2.5 kg/m2).

Results

Multiple regression analysis showed that the total skeletal muscle mass (P < 0.001) were negatively and age (P < 0.001) were positively associated with VFA. Lower limb muscle mass (P < 0.001) was strongly associated with VFA. However, total caloric intake, total energy expenditure, and energy expenditure during exercise were not associated with VFA.

Conclusions

Skeletal muscle mass especially lower limb muscle mass negatively contributes to visceral fat mass in healthy men. Therefore, maintaining lower limb muscular fitness through daily activity may be a useful strategy for controlling visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Keywords:
Exercise; Skeletal muscle; Metabolic syndrome; Prevention