Tags: belly fat | diabetes | atherosclerosis | cancer

Why Belly Fat Is Dangerous

By Wednesday, 13 May 2015 05:20 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Eating or drinking too much sugar raises blood glucose. In most cases, elevated blood glucose levels are secondary to a condition called “insulin resistance,” in which insulin is not working properly to carry out its job of transferring glucose from outside cells to the inside, where it can be used to make energy.

As a result, a person’s blood glucose becomes elevated.

Insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes, is growing at an alarming rate in the United States — especially among the young.

Diets high in saturated fats have also been implicated.

And one of the strongest links to diabetes is abdominal obesity — fat accumulation around the intestines that can even occur in skinny individuals.

Most fat in the body is a type called “subcutaneous fat,” which means that it lies just under the skin. Studies suggest that this type of fat is relatively harmless.

However, another type of fat exists within the abdominal cavity. This is “visceral fat” that surrounds the intestines and internal organs. It’s also commonly referred to as “belly fat.”

This type of fat is associated with:

• Insulin resistance

• Diabetes

• Heart disease

• Atherosclerosis

• Heart failure

• Cancer

• Alzheimer’s disease

The reason visceral fat is so harmful is that it releases chemicals (cytokines, adipokines, and chemokines) that produce a slow, smoldering inflammation throughout the body.

This type of inflammation is associated with all of the diseases listed above.

Surprisingly, people can have a great deal of visceral fat and still appear to be a normal weight.

In fact, most studies on obesity measure the body mass index (BMI), which uses a formula based on your height and weight.

The problem is that BMI doesn’t differentiate between subcutaneous and visceral fat. As a result, you can have a normal BMI and still have a very high level of visceral fat.

Large amounts of visceral fat are sometimes associated with elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in the blood. This type of protein is an indicator of inflammation.

Yet some people with smoldering inflammation (especially if the inflammation is confined to the brain) can show normal levels of hsCRP.

Visceral fat accumulation is also associated with high levels of the hormone cortisol — a condition called hypercortisolism — which contributes to damage in the hippocampus and can also shrink the brain.

If a doctor is concerned about a patient’s visceral fat, he or she should test blood levels of cortisol as well as hsCRP.

Studies have shown that the cause of the inflammation associated with visceral fat is special white blood cells called macrophages.

Curcumin, quercetin, ellagic acid, luteolin, natural vitamin E, tocotrienols, and DHA can all reduce this inflammation.

Concentrated blueberry and pomegranate extracts significantly reduce the effect of the inflammation on the brain and protect it from the effects of aging.

In addition, taking 1,000 mg of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) oil each day can help reduce visceral fat.

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One of the strongest links to diabetes is abdominal obesity — fat accumulation around the intestines that can even occur in skinny individuals.
belly fat, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 05:20 PM
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