The dangers of belly fat and what you can do about it.

The dangers of visceral fat are clear and our ability to accumulate it rather quickly as we age is a sad reality. Clinical research indicates unhealthy fat stored around the abdomen is due to a number of reasons.

Visceral fat is the body’s way of manifesting in a way we all can’t help but notice. This type of fat storage indicates that something isn’t working right in the body. Leaving it too long, one may suffer the plight of disease, obesity and hormonal dysregulation. It’s that simple.

Visceral fat can be reduced effectively through the use of peptides, which correct dysfunctional signalling, allowing your body to return to its lean composition combined with healthy diet and regular exercise. 

 

For many people, just dieting and exercise alone will not shift visceral fat. Particularly with the onset of the midlife ageing process. Why?

In today’s world, we are exposed to so many chemicals, pesticides, flame retardants, additives and preservatives, that our bodies have no choice but to react. Known as endocrine disruptors, the result of these environmental and chemical stressors is the eventual breakdown of our internal signalling and messaging system.

This messaging system is vital to the everyday functioning of the body and the dysregulation that occurs causes many changes in the body. Premature ageing and degeneration proceeds, causing decreased bone density, a loss of muscle mass, memory loss, sleep loss, hair loss and depression.

Fat starts to store itself within the abdomen, lodging itself deep within, surrounding vital organs. Its proximity to these major organs is where much of the danger presents itself.

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  • Visceral fat is stored around your abdominal cavity, blanketing organs such as the pancreas, kidneys, liver and intestines.
  • Visceral fat is hard and of a gel-like consistency.
  • The obese and the overweight are more likely to have large amounts of visceral fat, but people of normal weight can also have this fat storage.
  • Visceral fat causes inflammation and weakens the function of the organ tissue where it is stored.

12 top reasons for developing visceral fat 

  • High Sugar Intake
  • High Carbs
  • Eating carbs or sugar in the morning
  • Eating late at night
  • All kinds of stress
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Not eating the right foods
  • Eating too much of the wrong foods
  • Hormonal Imbalances not being addressed
  • Alcoholism
  • Living with too much stress, worry and fear

Declining GH levels are associated with
increased visceral fat storage

There is substantial evidence that the (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system has involvement in the development of obesity. Both GH and IGF-I have direct effects on the proliferation and differentiation of fat cells. This hormonal system is involved in the cross-talk between fat tissue, liver, and the pituitary gland.
Researchers indicate that there is a rationale for targeting this system in the treatment of visceral obesity, when it is associated with growth hormone deficiency or metabolic syndrome. Studies involving men and women with abdominal adiposity, (even in women who are menopausal or postmenopausal) reveal a significant reduction in visceral fat through GH stimulation and supplementation.

The Danger of Visceral Fat
How your fat cells become harmful to your health.

The role of fat cells or “adipocytes” is to help regulate many physiological and pathological processes. They also contribute to maintaining homoeostasis (balance in the body), a significant influence being that of immunity and inflammation.

When there is an excess of glucose, coupled with inactivity, hormonal imbalance or chronic stress and anxiety, this then leads to an excess of fat storage in places where fat should not be stored, nor is equipped to handle. (Such as surrounding the pancreas, liver, kidney, heart and muscle.) visceral fat - inside the fat cell

Fat cells, storage and the inflammatory response.

  • Fat cells can increase in number. This is referred to as “hyperplasia”.
  • Fat cells can also increase in size. This is referred to as “hypertrophy”.
  • During the fat cells process of hyperplasia and hypertrophy ones overall immunity is affected.
  • Inflammatory molecules called cytokines and adipokines secrete chemical messengers that interact with the major organs located within the abdomen.
  • Adipokines have the power to initiate various responses interfering with an organ and its natural function.
  • One known adipokine which is also a neurohormone is leptin. Leptin resistance is oftentimes an underlying cause of obesity and partakes in the vicious hormonal cycle contributing to visceral fat storage.
  • The lack of enzymes controlling the inflammatory process means that all the signalling happens rather haphazardly.
  • Inflammation is responsible for the onset of most chronic diseases which kill us today. Thus, further stress response or additional fat deposit will increase the cytokines and adipokines signalling in the body.
  • This continued inflammatory response eventually results in the development of chronic disease.

Medical consequences of visceral fat you can’t ignore

A fat belly may cause you to lose your marbles!

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have confirmed in a study published in Annals of Neurology, the reality that excess visceral fat is associated with lower total brain volume.

The study determined that excess belly fat, regardless if the middle-aged individual were otherwise healthy, would pose a greater risk for the development of dementia later in life.

These preliminary findings could lead to better prevention strategies implemented in the future.

Sudha Seshadri, M.D. and researchers took participants from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort to study. There were 733 community members, all with a combined average of 60 years, 70% of which were women.

The researchers examined the following in the participants:

  • BMI
  • waist circumference
  • waist to hip ratio
  • CT-based measures of abdominal fat
  • MRI measures of total brain volume (TCBV)
  • temporal horn volume (THV)
  • white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV)
  • brain infarcts in the middle-aged participants
Noted Dr Seshadri:

“Our results confirm the inverse association of increasing BMI with lower brain volumes in older adults and with younger, middle-aged adults and extends the findings to a much larger study sample,”

Previous studies were conducted in cohorts with less than 300 participants. This study included over 700 individuals.

He added:

“Moreover, our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity, and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

 

Belly fat and Dementia - visceral fat

 

The research identified that the association between VAT and TCBV was most robust and was also independent of BMI and insulin resistance.

The importance of fat loss is paramount when you consider the reality of the risk factors and life combatting disease and brain dysfunction. The appearance of visceral fat may indicate impending chronic disease.

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  • An Insulin Mimic Secreted By Visceral Fat”. Science 307.5708 (2005): 313k-313k. Web.
  • Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2016 Feb;40(236):122-8.
    [Adipose tissue, adipokines and aging].
  • Ibrahim, M M. “Subcutaneous And Visceral Adipose Tissue: Structural And Functional Differences”. Obes. metabol. 2 (2010): 64. Web.
  • Wisse, B. E. “The Inflammatory Syndrome: The Role Of Adipose Tissue Cytokines In Metabolic Disorders Linked To Obesity”. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 15.11 (2004): 2792-2800. Web.
  • Debette, Stéphanie et al. “Visceral Fat Is Associated With Lower Brain Volume In Healthy Middle-Aged Adults”. Annals of Neurology (2010): n/a-n/a. Web.
  • Anan, Futoshi et al. “Abdominal Visceral Fat Accumulation Is Associated With Hippocampus Volume In Non-Dementia Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”. NeuroImage 49.1 (2010): 57-62. Web.
  • Figueroa, Amparo L. et al. “Relationship Between Measures Of Adiposity, Arterial Inflammation, And Subsequent Cardiovascular Eventsclinical PERSPECTIVE”. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging 9.4 (2016): e004043. Web.
  •  The Role of the Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor System in Visceral Adiposity