Regional fat deposition as a factor in FFA metabolism

Susanne B. Votruba, Michael D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Humans have a large variability in body fat distribution, which has tremendous implications for metabolic health. Obese individuals with an upper-body-fat distribution have increased health complications such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes in comparison with lower-body-obese individuals. Additionally, females have more body fat, a greater proportion of fat in their lower body, and much less visceral fat than do lean males at the same body mass index. The reasons for these differences in body fat distribution have not been clearly identified but could be important. Herein we review what has been learned about regional differences in triglyceride storage capacity and lipolysis as they relate to the causes and consequences of regional fat accumulation. Both sex and site differences in regional fat storage have been described. In contrast, with the exception of variations between men and women in the contribution of visceral adipose tissue to hepatic FFA delivery, most studies have failed to show important sex differences in regional lipolysis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-163
Number of pages15
JournalAnnual Review of Nutrition
StatePublished - 2007


  • Body composition
  • Body fat distribution
  • Isotope dilution techniques
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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