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What is Body Composition Profiling?

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When we begin our preventative health and wellness journey, we grow rightfully curious about our internal organs, bones, muscles, and the biochemical components of our blood. Today, technology has advanced to allow us to precisely analyze individual body composition with MR imaging and FDA cleared automated software. We have all heard of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – so how exactly does body composition profiling work and why is it important? The simonONE Fitness scan is a non-invasive MRI that provides measurements of visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, liver fat, muscle fat and muscle volume. The truth about fat and muscle is that it’s not just about how you look and numbers on a scale. The way fat distributes in the body is highly correlated with different risks and disease development. Patients with the same BMI can have very different levels and types of health risks requiring individualized clinical care

Subcutaneous fat is fatty tissue stored directly beneath the skin and outside of the skeletal muscles. When compared to subcutaneous fat, visceral fat, or intra-abdominal fat that deposits around and between the organs, carries a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, liver inflammation, cancer, and stroke. Excessive accumulation of fat within the liver increases the risk of liver inflammation, permanent scarring, and liver cancer. Moreover, studies indicate that the presence of high visceral fat and low liver fat is associated with an even higher risk of heart disease. Although the exact relationship between the two is not fully understood, this suggests that the regulation of fat by the liver plays an important role in cardiovascular health.

The simonONE Fitness scan also obtains precise measurements of muscle volume and fat buildup within skeletal muscle. Specifically, the volume and quality of the lower body muscle groups including quadriceps femoris, sartorius and tensor fascia latae, gluteus muscles, iliacus, adductor muscles and hamstring muscles are measured. Beginning in the third decade of life, up to 5% of muscle volume is lost per decade, and most men will lose approximately 30 percent of their muscle mass in their lifetime. Low muscle volume has been associated with shortened lifespan, increased risk of surgical complications and poor healing, increased falls, and low bone mineral density. The deposition of fat within the muscle indicates low quality skeletal muscle and poses similar risks. Recently, we have seen media coverage over the increased use of injectable diabetic medications for the purpose of weight loss. New studies are surfacing suggesting that the weight loss effect may be incompletely understood, and patients are also experiencing a loss of muscle volume, especially in instances of low protein intake and lack of resistance training. The simonONE Fitness scan will help give you a better understanding of your metabolic health and fitness, as well as help you track outcomes from your diet, exercise, and other weight loss interventions.

 

Gone are the days in which we rely on single numbers as an indicator of health. MRI-based body composition analysis provides patients and clinicians with precise and actionable insight to develop personalized care plans focused on healthy living, longevity, and wellness.

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