Belly fat: its health risks
Around our midsection, there are two different types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral.
Subcutaneous – It means under the skin. It is the fat that we can see and pinch. But surprisingly, we have less to worry about subcutaneous fat than we do about gut stuff. It is often described as a “passive” grease because it functions primarily as a storage reservoir.
Visceral – Means belonging to the soft organs of the abdomen. It is the fat stored deep in our abdomen around the intestines, kidneys, pancreas and liver. This is what tends to make our stomachs stick out in the classic “beer belly” way. In contrast, visceral fat is considered very “active” because it functions much like a gland. It is programmed to break down and release fatty acids and other hormonal substances that are then directly metabolized by the liver. The fatty acids thus produced go directly to the liver and produce an unfavorable metabolic environment.
Although it is found in our abdomen, it can cause all kinds of damage that goes far beyond our stomach. No other body fat does that.
Sex differences –
There are sex-dependent differences in the regional distribution of fat.
• Genetically women have a greater capacity to store fat than men.
• Men are more likely to accumulate fat in the upper part of the body, most likely in the abdomen, due to differences in sex hormones. Abdominal obesity in men is correlated with comparatively low testosterone levels.
• In women, estrogen is believed to cause fat to be stored on the buttocks, thighs, and hips. After menopause in women, the estrogen produced by the ovaries decreases. And fat migrates from the buttocks, hips, and thighs to the belly.
• Women with higher than average testosterone levels, as well as women with certain medical conditions that cause them to have lower estrogen levels, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, are also more likely to develop a belly than women with lower levels of estrogen. typical estrogen.
• When comparing the body fat of men and women, it is observed that men have about twice as much visceral fat as premenopausal women.
Belly fat measurements –
For women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more is cause for concern. For men, a waist measurement of 40 inches or more could spell trouble.
For men, a WHR (waist-hip ratio) greater than 0.95 and, for women, greater than 0.80 are indicative of central obesity.
Health Risks of Belly Fat –
Belly fat is considered a risk for the following conditions:
Cardiovascular disease – The belly is the best indicator of cardiovascular risk. Researchers have found that those who are not overweight but have a bulging abdomen have 2.75 times the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than normal weight and a proportionate waistline.
Career – Belly fat accelerates the process of atherosclerosis, which means hardening of the arteries, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
Type 2 diabetes – People with large bellies tend to lose insulin sensitivity, leading to insulin resistance, which often develops into type 2 diabetes.
High blood pressure – Researchers have found that abdominal obesity increases the risk of hypertension.
Dementia – Middle-aged people with high abdominal fat content are 3.6 times more likely to experience memory loss and dementia later in life, researchers from Rush University Medical Center found.
Erectile dysfunction – Belly fat is actually reducing testosterone levels in men, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. It also produces an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen in a one-way pathway.
Breast cancer – Researchers point out in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that abdominal fat is associated with prediabetes. Insulin receptors are expressed in most breast cancers and have been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. This suggests that an insulin-related abdominal fat pathway is involved in the etiology of premenopausal breast cancer.
The essential –
Health experts unequivocally proclaim that the tummy has some very serious health risks. And yet most of us ignore their advice. I don’t understand why so much is ignored. In fact, belly fat works like a gland, releasing fatty acids and hormonal substances that are harmful to our health. Regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and proper stress management will go a long way to reducing belly fat.