Obesity is less common in the Asian population, but Asian people may be susceptible to obesity-associated metabolic dysregulation. Accumulating evidence suggests that insulin resistance is closely associated with ectopic fat accumulation in the liver. Whether this correlation is due to a causal relationship between the conditions has long been the subject of debate. Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes affects liver pathology, typically leading to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by dynamically altering the hepatic genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. Conversely, how overnutrition induces hepatic insulin resistance has been studied intensively, and has been shown to involve excessive energy flux into mitochondria, toxic lipids, reactive oxygen species, and hepatokines. In this review, we focus on NAFLD both as a consequence and as a cause of insulin resistance through lessons learned from the liver of patients with type 2 diabetes.
The Japan Endocrine Society