“If there is a lot of ‘good muscle’ without fat accumulation, the risk of hypertension and diabetes is ↓”

Research team at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, “Muscle quality can be an indicator of metabolic health”
“Confirmed that healthy people have significantly more high-quality muscles in terms of metabolism”
“When evaluating metabolic health, consider not only muscle mass but also the degree of ‘muscle localization’”
“Regular aerobic and strength exercise helps prevent and manage high blood pressure and diabetes”

Comparison of abdominal CT images of healthy and non-metabolic subjects without metabolic disease. Provided by Asan Medical Center, Seoul

Myosteatosis is a phenomenon in which fat accumulates in the muscles just as fat accumulates in the liver. When a lot of fat accumulates in the muscles, the quality of the muscles is inevitably reduced.

A new study suggests that muscle quality can be an indicator of metabolic health.

The more ‘good muscles’, the lower the risk of metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

A research team led by Professor Hong-Gyu Kim of the Department of Health Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul recently announced the results of this study.

The research team analyzed abdominal computed tomography (CT) images of 2659 adults over the age of 20 who had undergone a health checkup at a hospital health promotion center.

Through an automatic image analysis program, the research team analyzed the entire abdominal muscle (TAMA) ▲ healthy muscle with low intramuscular fat (NAMA) ▲ unhealthy muscle with accumulation of intramuscular fat (LAMA) ▲ intermuscular adipose tissue, a fatty tissue between muscle and muscle fibers (IMAT).

Afterwards, in order to intuitively grasp the proportion of high-quality muscles in the total abdominal muscles, a good muscle mass index (NAMA/TAMA index) was developed, which is a value obtained by dividing high-quality muscles by all abdominal muscles and multiplying them by 100.

The higher the index value, the greater the amount of high-quality muscle compared to the total muscle mass.

In addition, a person with poor metabolism is defined as a person with two or more risk factors of pre-hypertension, pre-diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, low ‘high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (good cholesterol)’, abdominal obesity, or a patient with hypertension or diabetes. did.

As a result, NAMA/TAMA indicators were significantly higher in both men and women if they were not obese and had a healthy metabolism. Compared with the bottom 25% group with low NAMA/TAMA indicators, the risk of metabolic unhealthy in the top 25% group was 28% lower for men and 43% lower for women.

In other words, a study found that muscle quality can be an indicator of metabolic health.

However, in obese people, muscle quality was not found to be significantly related to metabolic health. The research team analyzed that the harmful effects caused by excessive visceral fat and ectopic fat accumulating in non-fat tissues such as muscles, blood vessels and organs offset the beneficial effects of healthy muscles.

Obese people need to work hard to reduce visceral fat and ectopic fat through thorough sobriety, diet control, and regular exercise.

Muscles absorb and consume blood sugar in response to insulin, which regulates blood sugar. If the quality of the muscle decreases, the response to insulin also decreases, resulting in decreased ability to absorb and use blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes, etc., so it is important to keep the quality of the muscle high.

When evaluating metabolic health, the research team analyzed that it was meaningful in that it was not possible to accurately determine the amount of muscle alone, and that the degree of muscle localization, that is, the quality of the muscle should also be considered.

Professor Kim said, “The ratio and intensity of aerobic exercise and strength training may differ depending on the individual’s physical condition. becomes,” he said.

The results of this study were recently published in ‘Obesity’, an international academic journal officially published by the American Society for Obesity.

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