Effects of 1-year treatment with canagliflozin on body composition and total body water in patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2021 Dec;23(12):2614-2622. doi: 10.1111/dom.14508. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Aim: To characterize the long-term changes in body composition associated with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.

Materials and methods: In this multicentre, single-arm, open-label study, 107 patients with type 2 diabetes were treated with canagliflozin 100 mg, as add-on therapy, for 12 months. Body composition was measured with a body composition analyser (T-SCAN PLUS) using the impedance method to prospectively analyse changes in body components, including percentage of body fat, body fat mass, total body water, muscle mass and mineral mass. Estimated plasma volume (PV) was calculated using the Kaplan formula.

Results: Body weight showed a significant decrease from 1 month to 12 months of treatment with canagliflozin, with a higher rate of decrease in body fat in body composition. A significant decrease in mineral mass was also observed, but its rate was low. Following treatment with canagliflozin, changes in total body water did not affect intracellular water, and a significant decrease in extracellular water, including plasma components, was observed early and was sustained up to 12 months. Protein mass, a component of muscle mass, was not affected, with only a slight decrease in water volume observed.

Conclusions: Canagliflozin decreased extracellular fluid and PV in addition to decreasing fat in the body via calorie loss resulting from urinary glucose excretion. This study suggested that SGLT2 inhibitors might reduce body weight by regulating fat mass or water distribution in the body and might have cardiac and renal protective effects by resetting the homeostasis of fluid balance.

Keywords: body composition; canagliflozin; plasma volume; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Body Water
  • Canagliflozin / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors* / therapeutic use


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Canagliflozin