The higher the quality of muscle, the lower the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

picture explanationComparison of abdominal CT images of healthy and non-metabolic subjects without metabolic disease.

A phenomenon in which fat accumulates in muscles like a fatty liver in which fat accumulates in the liver is called ‘myosteatosis’. As muscle localization progresses, the quality of the muscles inevitably deteriorates, and research results suggest that the quality of these muscles can be an indicator of metabolic health.

As a result of analyzing abdominal CT images of 20,000 health check-ups, the team led by Professor Hong-Gyu Kim of the Department of Endocrinology at Seoul Asan Hospital showed no significant difference in total muscle mass between healthy and unhealthy people without metabolic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. It was announced on the 30th that it was confirmed that there were significantly more high-quality muscles in metabolically healthy people. This proves that people who have a lot of good-quality muscle are more likely to be metabolically healthy. The research results were published in the latest issue of ‘Obesity’, an international academic journal officially published by the American Society for Obesity.

Muscles absorb and consume blood sugar in response to insulin, which regulates blood sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, so it is important to maintain high muscle quality.

This study is the first study to investigate the relationship between muscle quality and metabolic health based on a large number of people. It is of great significance in terms of presenting

Professor Kim’s team used abdominal CT (computed tomography) images of 2659 adults aged 20 years or older (average 52.9 years old) who had undergone medical examinations at the Asan Medical Center Health Promotion Center in Seoul. Through the automatic image analysis program, the total attenuation muscle area (TAMA) was analyzed in each of △ healthy muscle with low intramuscular fat (NAMA (normal attenuation muscle area)) △ unhealthy muscle (LAMA, low attenuation) muscle area) △ was visualized as intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), a fatty tissue between muscle and muscle fibers.

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Based on this, Professor Kim’s team developed the ‘NAMA/TAMA Index ((NAMA/TAMA)x100) ‘ was newly developed. The higher the index, the greater the amount of good-quality muscle compared to the total muscle mass.

Metabolic unhealthy persons were defined as those with two or more risk factors of prehypertension, prediabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, abdominal obesity, or those with hypertension or diabetes. As a result of the analysis, NAMA/TAMA indicators were significantly higher in both men and women if they were not obese and were metabolically healthy. Compared to the bottom 25% group with low NAMA/TAMA indicators, the risk of not being metabolically healthy in the top 25% group was 28% lower for men and 43% lower for women.

On the other hand, it was found that muscle quality was not significantly related to metabolic health in obese people. The research team analyzed that the harmful effects of excessive visceral fat and ectopic fat (fat that accumulates in non-fat tissues such as muscles, blood vessels, and organs) offset the good effects of healthy muscles. It is interpreted as meaning that obese people need to focus on reducing visceral fat and ectopic fat through diet control including thorough alcohol consumption and regular exercise.

Kim Hong-gyu, a professor of health medicine at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, said, “As people get older, muscle localization naturally increases and the quality of muscle decreases. Obese people must combine aerobic exercise and strength training to effectively reduce body fat and increase quality muscle. There are cases where skinny people only do aerobic exercise such as walking, but safe aerobic exercise is only possible by increasing high-quality muscles, so strength training to strengthen the lower body and abdominal muscles should be continued.” Professor Kim continued, “The proportion and intensity of appropriate aerobic exercise and strength exercise may differ depending on the individual’s physical condition, so expert advice is needed. It helps,” he added.

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