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What is so bad about belly fat?

Abdominal fat in particular has been the highlight of several studies. In 2005, researchers demonstrated that abdominal fat cells produce cortisol in large amounts. Fat cells can also release chemical messengers that promote inflammation. Japanese researchers have found that fat cells can generate free radicals that can then do damage throughout the body. They concluded that excess abdominal fat may bring on systemwide oxidative stress that has profound effects all over your body.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

We're learning so much about why "Belly Fat" is not just a benign bowl of jelly. As Dr. Oz said in the video, excess "visceral" fat around the organs is very active and disrupts normal hormone function therefore increasing risk factors for many degenerative diseases.

Here are a couple of examples: Leptin (satiation hormone) and Adiponectin (insulin sensitivity hormone).

1.) Excess belly fat decreases leptin levels. Which isn't a good thing. Not feeling satisfied or hungry can make things worse if you're trying to lose weight.

2.) Belly fat increases Adiponectin. This hormone is thought to influence how your cells respond to insulin. Poor insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance is a very inflammatory condition directly linked to heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases.

Even though science is still sorting out how exactly belly fat effects individual hormones, it's pretty clear that too much abdominal fat disrupts the balance and functioning of our hormones which has a direct impact on our overall health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.