Effects of obesity phenotype on fat metabolism in obese men during endurance exercise

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The effects of obesity phenotype on fat metabolism during endurance exercise are unclear. This study aimed to investigate in obese men whether body fat distribution would influence plasma fat availability and oxidation during endurance exercise.


Fourteen sedentary men (body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2) were divided into two groups by visceral fat (VF) area: VF obese (VF-Ob) (n = 7, age; 52.0±2.5 (s.e.) years) and abdominal subcutaneous fat obese (SF-Ob) (n = 7, age; 57.3±2.8 (s.e.) years). All participants performed stationary cycling exercise for 60 min at 50% of peak oxygen uptake.


Blood and respiratory gas samples were taken for analysis of hormone, metabolite and substrate oxidation in each participant at rest and during exercise.


There is a significant group × time interaction in the plasma concentration of free fatty acid (FFA) (P < 0.05) and glycerol (P < 0.05) during the exercise bout. In addition, total plasma concentration of FFA (area under the curve) was 59.2% higher in VF-Ob compared with SF-Ob men during endurance exercise (1.99±0.24 and 1.25±0.13 mEq/l/min, respectively; P < 0.05). Total plasma concentration of glycerol (area under the curve) was 102.3% higher in VF-Ob than SF-Ob men during the exercise (69.6±12.5 and 34.4±5.1 mg/dl/min, respectively; P < 0.05). However, fat oxidation was not different throughout the exercise between VF-Ob and SF-Ob men (176.5±25.7 and 183.0±12.8 kcal/60 min, respectively).


During moderate endurance exercise, plasma fat availability may be higher in men with VF obesity compared to men with SF obesity. However, total fat oxidation is similar between obesity phenotype.

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