Tissue oxygenation in human obesity

Role in adipose tissue dysfunction and metabolic health

The number of people who are overweight or obese is on the rise. Obesity is the most important risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease, which reduces the effects of adipose tissue and skeletal muscles. This study describes the role of oxygen in adipose tissue and skeletal muscles in cardiometabolic disorders in people who are overweight or obese. We examined whether the amount of oxygen in abdominal fat (related to increased cardiometabolic risk) was different from that in thigh fat (related to reduced cardiometabolic risk). The results show that there is more oxygen in abdominal fat than in thigh fat and that oxygen in abdominal fat is indeed related to insulin resistance. Finally, we examined whether reducing the amount of oxygen in abdominal fat and the skeletal muscles had a positive effect on cardiometabolic risk profile in obese men. The preliminary results show that a mild reduction in oxygen in the ambient air (15% oxygen; 7 days; 3 x 2 hours per day) reduces oxygen saturation and oxygen content in abdominal fat and skeletal muscles and increases carbohydrate burning before and after a meal with no significant effects on blood pressure or insulin sensitivity. This dissertation lays the foundation for additional research on the role of oxygen saturation in organs and cardiometabolic risk. Modulation of oxygen as an alternative reduction strategy can be explored further.

Max Vogel, October 19th 2018