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YoonMyung Kim

addition, limited evidence also demonstrates a significant relationship between intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) or intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content within skeletal muscle and obesity-related health abnormalities in children and adolescents ( 40 , 64 ). These results clearly suggest that depot

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Wendy Hens, Jan Taeymans, Justien Cornelis, Jan Gielen, Luc Van Gaal and Dirk Vissers


Reduction of ectopic fat accumulation plays an important role in the prevention of insulin resistance in people with overweight or obesity. This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes the current evidence for the use of noninvasive weight loss interventions (exercise or diet) on ectopic fat.


A systematic literature search was performed according to the PRISMA statement. Clinical trials in PubMed, PEDro, and the Cochrane database were searched.


All 33 included studies described the effect of lifestyle interventions on ectopic fat storage in internal organs (liver, heart, and pancreas) and intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), hereby including 1146, 157, 87, and 336 participants. Overall, a significant decrease of ectopic fat was found in liver (−0.53 Hedges’ g, P < .001), heart (−0.72 Hedges’ g, P < .001) and pancreas (–0.55 Hedges’ g, P = .098) respectively. A trend toward decrease in IMCL was also observed. Meta-regression indicated a dose-response relationship between BMI reduction and decreased hepatic adiposity. Exercise alone decreased ectopic fat but the effect was greater when combined with diet.


Lifestyle interventions can reduce ectopic fat accumulation in the internal organs of overweight and obese adults. The results on IMCL should be interpreted with care, keeping the ‘athlete’s paradox’ in mind.

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Trent J. Herda, Philip M. Gallagher, Jonathan D. Miller, Matthew P. Bubak and Mandy E. Parra

imaging (MRI) images ( 2 , 57 ), intramyocellular lipids via muscle biopsies ( 9 ), and extramyocellular lipids measured with MRI images ( 2 ) in adults. Goodpaster et al ( 20 ) reported that skeletal muscle attenuation via computed tomography (similar to EI) of the leg extensors is associated with

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Matthew I. Black, Joseph C. Handsaker, Sam J. Allen, Stephanie E. Forrester and Jonathan P. Folland

, Devries MC , Hamadeh MJ . Influence of endurance exercise training and sex on intramyocellular lipid and mitochondrial ultrastructure, substrate use, and mitochondrial enzyme activity . Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol . 2007 ; 292 : R1271 – 1278 . PubMed doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00472.2006 10

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Gary J. Slater, Jennifer Sygo and Majke Jorgensen

.1007/s40279-014-0149-y Koopman , R. , Manders , R.J. , Jonkers , R.A. , Hul , G.B. , Kuipers , H. , & van Loon , L.J. ( 2006 ). Intramyocellular lipid and glycogen content are reduced following resistance exercise in untrained healthy males . European Journal of Applied Physiology, 96 ( 5

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Jennifer Sygo, Alicia Kendig Glass, Sophie C. Killer and Trent Stellingwerff

). Intramyocellular lipid and glycogen content are reduced following resistance exercise in untrained healthy males . European Journal of Applied Physiology, 96 ( 5 ), 525 – 534 . PubMed ID: 16369816 doi:10.1007/s00421-005-0118-0 10.1007/s00421-005-0118-0 Kreitzman , S.N. , Coxon , A.Y. , & Szaz , K