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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Got Belly Fat?

Jan 01, 2013 07:48PM

Belly fat is not only a cosmetic issue, but also a serious health threat. “A big waist line puts you at an increased risk for many health problems—diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke,” says Robert Eckel, M.D., president of the American Heart Association.

In fact you can even be “skinny fat,” showing no external signs of belly fat, yet hidden around the internal organs can be toxic belly fat, placing you at a higher risk for some diseases. Belly fat can actually act as an active “organ” in the body, producing hormones and inflammatory substances that dump into the liver and muscles. This can trigger a sequence of changes increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Insulin can become less active controlling blood sugar. Fats get into the blood stream and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

Belly fat is an indicator of metabolic syndrome, a series of imbalances that include elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Although belly fat affects men more than women, fat can accumulate in a female body around the hips and thighs before menopause. After that time, it tends to accumulate around the belly.

Abdominal fat is more dangerous than fat around the buttocks and thigh area. In fact, women are about five times more likely to die of heart disease if they have a big waist and high blood fats. Fat cells can break down and release cell-proliferating agents, which may be why obesity is a risk for some cancers. Obesity may be a high risk factor in post-menopausal breast cancer. Belly fat can produce also more estrogens than is necessary.

Dr. John R. Keifer, DC, is presenting a series of free lectures to educate others on highly effective programs that can reduce belly fat and lower the risk of chronic diseases. For more information, call 520-577-1717 or visit bellyfataz.com (enter into left upper address bar).

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