An interesting thing on hip fat vs. belly fat

Here is an interesting article I found on the difference between hip fat and belly fat. More can be found at the following site:

Why hip fat is good, but pot bellies are bad

  • 09 May 2008
  • news service
  • Bob Holmes

Not all body fat is bad. Your body may store “good” fat and “bad” fat, similar to good and bad cholesterol. The finding could explain why liposuction has few health benefits.

Researchers know that not all body fat is equal. The worst kind is excess fat on the internal organs, which causes a pot belly and is known as visceral fat. People with this are more likely to suffer from heart disease and insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes, than those who put on fat under their skin on their hips and thighs. But it was assumed that such subcutaneous fat was merely the lesser of two evils.

Now it looks like it could be positively beneficial. C. Ronald Kahn and colleagues at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston transplanted subcutaneous fat into the bodies of some mice and visceral fat into others. They found the mice that had received subcutaneous fat ended up with lighter, leaner bodies and less insulin resistance than the animals that got visceral fat and, crucially, those that received no fat transplant at all (Cell Metabolism, DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.04.004).

“That increased body fat has a favourable effect is something I buy into,” says John Miles of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. If subcutaneous fat also has benefits in humans, the results could explain why liposuction, which removes this fat, does not reduce diabetes or other side effects of obesity. It also suggests that liposuction may even be bad for you, although that requires further study.

How subcutaneous fat exerts its positive influence remains a mystery but Kahn suspects it secretes hormones that speed up metabolism.


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