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BACKGROUND: Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogs regulate body weight and liver steatosis. Different body adipose tissue (AT) depots exhibit biological variability. Accordingly, GLP-1 analog effects on AT distribution are unclear. OBJECTIVES: To investigate GLP1-analog effects on adiposity distribution. SEARCH METHODS: PubMed, Cochrane, and Scopus databases were screened for eligible randomized human trials. Pre-defined endpoints included visceral AT (VAT), subcutaneous AT (SAT), total AT (TAT), epicardial AT (EAT), liver AT (LAT), and waist-to-hip ratio (W:H). Search was conducted until May 17, 2022. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data extraction and bias assessment were performed by two independent investigators. Treatment effects were estimated using random effects models. Analyses were performed on Review Manager v5.3. MAIN RESULTS: Out of the 367 screened studies, 45 were included in the systematic review and 35 were used in the meta-analysis. GLP-1 analogs reduced VAT, SAT, TAT, LAT, and EAT, with non-significant effects on W:H. Overall bias risk was low. CONCLUSIONS: GLP-1 analog treatment reduces TAT, affecting most studied AT depots, including the pathogenic VAT, EAT, and LAT. GLP-1 analogs may have significant roles in combating metabolic, obesity-associated diseases via reductions of key AT depot volumes.

Original publication




Journal article


Obes Rev

Publication Date





GLP-1, GLP-1 analog, GLP-1 receptor agonist, adipose tissue, liver steatosis, metabolism, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, waist, Humans, Adiposity, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Obesity, Body Weight, Liver