Visceral Fat

visceral-fat1Have you ever heard of visceral fat? Here are some important facts you need to know!

There are two types of fat that contribute to the formation of abdominal obesity, also known as central obesity, or pot belly. These two types of fat are called visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

It is important to differentiate between the two types of fat because visceral fat is associated with serious diseases such as heart disease, liver disease, and insulin resistance diabetes.

Whereas subcutaneous fat is stored under the skin, visceral fat is stored deep inside the abdominal cavity, hidden around the vital organs such as the intestines, heart, and the liver.

It is easy to see and feel subcutaneous fat because you can literally pinch the skin and feel the fat stored beneath the skin. However, visceral fat is only visualized with advanced imaging techniques such as the CT and MRI scans.

visceral-fat2Visceral fat cells release their metabolic byproducts such as fatty acids into the circulation, which go straight into the liver for storage. It also causes serious inflammation by releasing IL-6, which is associated with inflammation and aging.

So what is the treatment for abdominal obesity? Let me start by telling you that spot exercises such as sit ups and crunches DO NOT HELP eliminate abdominal obesity. These types of exercises are helpful in building the abdominal muscles but have very little effect on eliminating abdominal obesity.

The treatment includes weight loss by eating a low calorie nutritious diet and physical activity. Also, don’t forget to ask your doctor to check your hormone levels such as cortisol, thyroid, and testosterone, to rule out any hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to the problem.