Abdominal Fat / Visceral Fat
I have many articles on fat cells in general, for example how we have White Fat, Brown Fat, and Beige Fat. In general, fat cells hold our fat storage reserves so we can access them in a case of famine. What makes visceral fat so much more "worse" than normal fat?
Most fat on a human body is subcutaneous - just under the skin. For example, the fat on your butt. You can put your hand on your butt and feel where that fat is. But visceral fat lies deep inside the abdominal cavity. It's actually mixed in there with your important organs, such as the pancreas, liver, and intestines. Visceral fat is the type of fat that you see in a middle-aged beer drinker with that large belly. And this type of fat isn't good.
These visceral fat cells don't just sit there. They are actively releasing hormones such as cytokines. Since the fat cells are immediately next to the liver, they are bathing the liver in those hormones. They actively end lowering HDL (good) cholesterol numbers and raising LDL (bad) cholesterol numbers.
They can also cause insulin resistance. This is because the visceral fat releases retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4). This then leads to glucose intolerance and type-2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, visceral fat isn't something you can just "grab" like your rear-end fat. It's hidden within you. So there's no easy way to know how much you have. If you have a large belly, some of that might be subcutaneous fat just beneath the surface while another portion might be the visceral fat.
A rule of thumb used by many doctors is that the average body is about 10% visceral fat. So if you use a fat scale, and determine your total fat percentage, you'll now have a rough estimate of how much visceral fat you have.
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