by Ray Ricardo
The location of body fat stores is directly related to disease risk factors. Abdominal fat is particularly dangerous. People with excess levels of abdominal fat are at markedly increased risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and type2 diabetes both of which are closely related to the metabolic syndrome. Recent studies have also shown that the potent endocrine function of abdominal body fat may explain the relationship between abdominal fat and cognitive decline, such as that seen in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Abdominal fat is not just a problem in adults—new studies have established a relationship between fat distribution in early childhood and adolescence and serious chronic disease in early to mid-adulthood. Even within the abdomen, the location of fat stores matters. People with excessive amounts of fat in their livers (fatty liver disease) are at even higher risk for all of these chronic conditions, compared with those who have lower levels of liver fat. Indeed, damage to liver cells, as measured by increased levels of liver-based enzymes in the bloodstream, is closely associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and is a risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes.
Because of its chemical nature, fat is readily oxidized by free radicals—and it is the oxidized form of many lipids that triggers the blood vessel damage and eventual plaque formation that leads to atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences. The bottom line is that people with excessive adipose tissue are walking “oxidant factories” whose bodies must cope with enormous loads of these violently destructive molecules. The metabolic syndrome and its related conditions all derive from increased levels of inflammatory molecules called cytokines—and inflammatory cytokines are more prominent in people with excessive stores of body fat. Physicians now commonly measure certain markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) as a means of screening for people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, reductions in body fat content (through exercise, diet, and appropriate supplementation) are associated with healthy reductions in inflammatory markers such as CRP—and that means a reduction in the many risk factors associated with obesity-related inflammation.
Excess body fat not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, it also increases the risk of deadly cancers. Studies have shown a powerful association between body fat content and kidney and liver cancers. By now, it should be no surprise to learn that weight loss, specifically body fat reduction, can lead to lowered risks for cancers just as it does for other devastating conditions. One study has estimated a reduction of 45% in the risk of breast cancer in women who lost more than about nine pounds.
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Article Source: Diabetes is not the only Unhealthy Consequence of Obesity