Long-term beneficial effect of a 16-week very low calorie diet on pericardial fat in obese type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.
ABSTRACT Pericardial fat accumulation has been associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. A very low calorie diet (VLCD) improves the cardiovascular risk profile in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), by improving the metabolic profile, heart function, and triglyceride (TG) stores in (non)adipose tissues. However, long-term effects of a VLCD on pericardial fat volume and tissue-specific TG accumulation have not been documented. The aim of this study was therefore to assess the effects of a 16-week VLCD and of subsequent 14 months follow-up on a regular diet on pericardial fat in relation to other TG stores in obese T2DM patients. We included 14 obese patients with insulin-treated T2DM (mean ± s.e.m.: age 53 ± 2 years; BMI 35 ± 1 kg/m(2)). Pericardial fat and other (non)adipose TG stores were measured using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and proton spectroscopy before and after a 16-week VLCD and after a 14-month follow-up without dietary interventions. A 16-week VLCD reduced body weight, pericardial fat, hepatic TG content, visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat volumes to 78, 83, 16, 40, and 53% of baseline values respectively, (all P < 0.05). After an additional 14 months of follow-up on a regular diet, the reduction in pericardial fat volume sustained, despite a substantial regain in body weight, visceral abdominal fat, and hepatic TG content (respectively 90, 83 and 73% of baseline values). In conclusion, VLCD-induced weight loss in obese T2DM patients is accompanied by a substantial decrease in pericardial fat volume, which is sustained even after subsequent weight regain.