A shift in fat distribution from visceral (the internal abdominal area) to subcutaneous (under the skin) could be the reason the insulin sensitizer Actos (pioglitazone) helps to lower blood glucose levels in people with insulin resistance.
Researchers from the University of Texas studied nine people with type 2 diabetes who took Actos for 16 weeks.
Despite an average weight gain of nearly 7 pounds and an increase in total fat mass during that time, fasting blood glucose levels fell from an average of 179 mg/dl to 140 mg/dl, and A1C levels dropped from 8.6% to 7.2%. Fat distribution was evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which showed a decreased ratio of visceral to subcutaneous fat during the study.
-Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, June 2002