Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Junk In The Trunk: The Body Fat Post

Fat fits into fashion trends between curvaceous Botticelli paintings to lean 20’s flappers and super skinny supermodels.  These three feminine body times present with one common thing: varying levels of body fat.  So call it what you must but it plays a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde role in the body.
Body fat, formally known as adipose tissue to your sophomore level anatomy course acts as a layer of protection from the elements .  Depending on its storage location will determine if it’s helpful to your body or harmful.  Studies show that abdominal fat that is nicely packed around organs, AKA visceral fat acts as the Darth Vader of the adipose tissue solar system.  Visceral fat can decrease metabolism by increasing the stress hormone cortisol.  Other nasty habits of visceral fat include: insulin resistance (a precursor to Diabetes), increased risk for heart disease/high blood pressure, and the always under the radar, fatty liver disease.
There is a Luke Skywalker to this equation with subcutaneous fat.  It acts as “the good” fat that annoyingly bulges over too tight jeans creating a ‘muffin top’.  It’s not terrible.  It’s the creator of curves and junk in the truck.  Subcutaneous fat is a piece in the weight regulation system.  It has leptin (which keeps you full but also lets the body know to release or store fat), adiponectin acts to help lower blood sugar (it decreases triglyceride content in muscle).

Ahima, Rexford, et al. "Role of leptin in the neuroendocrine response to fasting." Nature. 382 (1996): 250 - 252. Web. 1 May. 2013. <>.
Yamauchi, T., et al. "The fat-derived hormone adiponectin reverses insulin resistance associated with both lipoatrophy and obesity." Nature Medicine. 7. (2001): 941 - 946 . Web. 1 May. 2013. <>. 

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator, those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at  (Resolve to increase your online exposure in 2013!)

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