Obesity can turn body fat toxic | Science News


Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


Obesity can turn body fat toxic

A lucky few escape the link with disease-causing inflammation, two studies find

5:26pm, September 2, 2011

Obesity can trigger inflammation in the fat cells found just below the skin, creating an environment that has been linked with the development of both diabetes and heart disease, two new studies indicate.

The findings suggest that people need to worry about all types of body fat, not just the deeply embedded fat that earlier work had focused on. But the new work also hints that some face a higher risk than others.

In the body, most fat clusters under the skin in what’s known as subcutaneous adipose tissue. Much of the rest, called visceral fat, accumulates within muscle and between organs deeper inside the body. For more than a decade, studies have shown that obesity triggers visceral fat to begin spewing hormonelike chemicals called cytokines. These proinflammatory chemicals have been linked with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of abnormalities that can include impaired insulin sensitivity (known as insulin resistance), fat buildup around the waist, high

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content