Resistance, Endurance Training To Reduce Adipose Tissue

July 3, 2019
Patrick Campbell

A recent study of 50 inactive adults found that different modalities of exercise can have varying effects on pericardial and epicardial adipose tissue mass.

A recent study has found that certain forms of exercise can reduce adipose tissue mass by up to 32%.

A secondary analysis of a randomized trial found that resistance training can reduce pericardial and epicardial adipose tissue mass by 32% and 24%, respectively. While endurance training can reduce epicardial adipose tissue by 32%.

In order to measure the impact of aerobic and resistance exercise on adipose tissue mass, investigators performed a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. The trial, which was performed between Aug. 2016 and April 2018 at the Centre for Physical Activity Research in Denmark, included 50 inactive and abdominally obese individuals — abdominal obesity was defined as a waist to height ratio that was 0.5 or greater and/or waist circumference 88 cm or greater in women and 102 cm or greater in men.

All participants in the study were 18 or older and participants were excluded if they had ischemic heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, were pregnant, were undergoing treatment with immunotherapy or other biologic rheumatic drugs, and health conditions that prevent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from being performed. Main outcome measures of the study were change in epicardial and pericardial adipose tissue mass, which investigators measured by MRI.

All 50 participants were randomized into 3 groups. The 3 groups included in the secondary analysis were resistance training, endurance training, and a no exercise control group. The patients who were in groups that involved exercise did so 3 times a week for 45 minutes for the duration of the 12-week study period.

At the conclusion of the study, there was 12 participants in the no exercise group, 14 in the endurance training group, and 13 in the resistance training group. Mean age of the study population was 41 (14) years, 26% (n=10) of the group was mean, the mean BMI was 32 (5), and 78% (n=39) participants completed the study.

Upon analyses, investigators found that endurance training and resistance training reduced epicardial adipose tissue mass by 32% (95% CI, 10%-53%) and 24% (95% CI, 1%-46%), respectively, when compared with the control group. Investigators noted that resistance training significantly reduced pericardial adipose tissue by 31% (95% CI, 16%-47%; P < .001), but the endurance training group showed a nonsignificant reduction of 11% (95% CI, −5% to 27%; P = .17) when compared to the control group.

Additionally, investigators found an increase in left ventricular mass in the endurance and resistance groups when compared with the control group. Additionally, other cardio metabolic outcomes remained unchanged after 12 weeks.

Within their conclusion, investigators suggested the results of the trial highlight potential preventive importance of different forms of exercise as a means to reduce adipose tissue around the heart.

This study, titled “Effect of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Cardiac Adipose Tissues,” is published in JAMA Cardiology.


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