Visceral Fat ~ The Most Dangerous! | Personal Training in Kirkland and Bellevue

Visceral fat is the belly fat that surrounds the abdominal (visceral) organs.  In recent years much has been learned about the dangerous nature of these fat cells. Years ago fat cells were thought to be inert:  to expand if you put on weight and diminish if you lost weight.  Research now proves fat tissue is a major hormone secreting organ, producing cancer markers, and cell signaling proteins, adipokines, that affect metabolism, eating behaviors, glucose regulation and insulin control. The three adipokines are leptin, adiponectin and visfatin. All three are negatively impacted in the overweight or obese individual.

Leptin is involved in our decision to have a snack, so is essential in regulating energy and appetite, which is why an overweight individual may find it difficult to control their appetite as the leptin levels are elevated.

Adiponectin is involved in insulin sensitivity, anti-inflammatory effects and protection against atheroschlerosis.  Lean individuals have high levels whereas overweight/obese people have lower levels, accompanied by the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Visfatin is elevated when abdominal obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are present in an individual. Visfatin is actively produced by the visceral fat cells, causing the maturation of pre-adipocytes (pre-fat cells) into mature fat cells :(.


The Metabolic Picture of Visceral Obesity


  • Insulin resistance
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Low HDL cholesterol (the good stuff)
  • High Triglycerides
  • High level of small, dense LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Blood clotting
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Elevated insulin

ALL factors increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes

Stay tuned for Part 2:  Fat and Fit!

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