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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Pancreatic Fat Content Following Diet-Induced Weight Loss

Heidelberg University Hospital, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
Huntsman Cancer Institute and Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Utah, 2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5550, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 912;
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
Background: Obesity can lead to ectopic pancreatic fat accumulation and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. Smaller intervention trials have shown a decrease in pancreatic fat content (PFC) with weight loss, and we intended to investigate the effects of weight loss on PFC in a larger trial. Methods: Data from the HELENA-Trial, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) among 137 non-diabetic obese adults were used. The study cohort was classified into 4 quartiles based on weight change between baseline and 12 weeks post-intervention. Changes in PFC (baseline, 12 weeks and 50 weeks post-intervention) upon weight loss were analyzed by linear mixed models. Spearman’s coefficients were used to obtain correlations between anthropometric parameters, blood biochemical markers, and PFC. Results: At baseline, PFC only showed a significant correlation with visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (r = 0.41). Relative changes in PFC were significantly (p = 0.01) greater in Q4 (−30.8 ± 5.7%) than in Q1 (1.3 ± 6.7%). These differences remained similar after one year. However, when adjusting the statistical analyses for changes in VAT, the differences in PFC between Q1 and Q4 were no longer statistically significant. Conclusion: Weight loss is associated with a decrease in PFC. However, the reduction of PFC is not independent from reductions in VAT. Unlike VAT, PFC was not associated with metabolic biomarkers. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging; pancreatic fat content; insulin sensitivity; ectopic fat accumulation; diet-induced weight loss magnetic resonance imaging; pancreatic fat content; insulin sensitivity; ectopic fat accumulation; diet-induced weight loss
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Jiang, Y.; Spurny, M.; Schübel, R.; Nonnenmacher, T.; Schlett, C.L.; von Stackelberg, O.; Ulrich, C.M.; Kaaks, R.; Kauczor, H.-U.; Kühn, T.; Nattenmüller, J. Changes in Pancreatic Fat Content Following Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Nutrients 2019, 11, 912.

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