Friday, February 5, 2010

The Dangers of Belly Fat

Everyone knows that overweight people have a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and other problems that arise from clogged, hardened arteries.

And people who have their extra weight hanging over your pants or jiggling when they walk -- have the highest risk of all.

A team of University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center scientists reports direct evidence of a link between inflammation around the cells of visceral fat deposits, and the artery-hardening process of atherosclerosis (1)

Visceral fat or belly fat is particularly dangerous because it produces inflammatory molecules that enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Obese people have higher levels of circulating inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which are produced and secreted by fat tissue. This inflammation then triggers the systemic diseases linked with metabolic syndrome, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease (2).

Other Negative Effects Of Belly Fat

Liver Cancer Recurrence

Dr. H. Yoshida of the University of Tokyo and colleagues (3) found that the amount of fat accumulated around internal abdominal organs appears to affect the likelihood of a recurrence of liver cancer following treatment


People with larger stomachs in their 40s are more likely to have dementia when they reach their 70s (4).


Overweight people who are between the ages of 20 and 55 may have a higher risk of experiencing migraine headaches (5).

Work on losing your belly fat, and your other excess body weight, today!

Start by taking small steps in the right direction - a regular, daily exercise routine and healthier, less-fattening eating habits and soon you will be melting away your ugly belly fat!

Aim for a healthy weight – assess your risk here.

1 M. K. Ohman, Y. Shen, C. I. Obimba, A. P. Wright, M. Warnock, D. A. Lawrence, and D. T. Eitzman. Visceral Adipose Tissue Inflammation Accelerates Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice. Circulation, February 12, 2008; 117(6): 798 - 805.

2 Vieira VJ, Valentine RJ, Wilund KR, Antao N, Baynard T, Woods JA. Effects of exercise and low-fat diet on adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic complications in obese mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 May;296(5)

3 T Ohki, R Tateishi, S Shiina, E Goto, T Sato, H Nakagawa, R Masuzaki, T Goto, K Hamamura, F Kanai, H Yoshida, T Kawabe, and M Omata. Visceral fat accumulation is an independent risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after curative treatment in patients with suspected NASH. Gut 2009; 58: 839-844.

4 Whitmer RA, Gustafson DR, Barrett-Connor E, Haan MN, Gunderson EP, Yaffe K. Central obesity and increased risk of dementia more than three decades later. Neurology. 2008 Sep 30;71(14):1057-64.

5 Peterlin BL, and Rosso AL, reported in an abstract to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April 2009

6 Photo from

Eat less, exercise more….and eat at the right time of day (we will talk bout this in another posting).

There is a prescription medicine called orlistat which belongs to a group of medicines called lipase inhibitors. It works by preventing the absorption of dietary fat in your body rather than by suppressing your appetite. Orlistat is used to assist with losing weight, maintaining a certain weight and preventing weight regain. Orlistat may be used to complement a low-fat, well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet and exercise.

Omega-3 in dietary fish oil has been shown to promote size reduction of visceral fat cells. Omega 3 fatty acids are also reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombogenic and anti-arrhythmic effects.

Talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

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