Dr. Robert R. Henry, MD, and leading endocrinologist, as well as professor of medicine in residence with the University of California, San Diego recently discussed body fat and the deadly consequences of having too much of it. It was at the American Diabetes Association’s Annual Scientific Sessions, in June in Chicago, and the information he offered was enough to turn even the most seasoned health professional’s stomach.
It turns out that, despite the fact that many of us know how fat is metabolized, and how it’s created, there is more to body fat than most people actually understood until now. When people eat more calories than their bodies can burn, and get enough activity, the extra calories are turned into fat, which settles all around the body. The thing is it’s not just on the outside that fat seems to live. It often settles deep within the belly.
From there, the deep belly fat actually turns into an organ. However, unlike the essential organs; liver, kidney and stomach; which help to keep us alive, fat organs that are spread across the belly can cause toxic, inflammatory compounds. So the internal fat “organs” are giving off the chemicals which cause lots of damaging reactions. Issues like damaged blood vessels suppressed immunity and a weak heart are just a few of the consequences of those fat organs. Continued weight gain can cause life difficult to live at best, and at worst, shorten your life.
For diabetics, it can get even worse because belly fat can cause the condition to become worse. It decreases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Carrying too much fat around the belly can also put people at risk for beta cell failure. Beta cells are in the pancreas, and they produce insulin, so when they begin to fail, it can ensure that people have to take medications for the rest of their lives. It also can cause people to experience complications due to their diabetes including trouble thinking, heart issues and trouble seeing, not to mention the damage to the feet.
If that’s not reason enough to encourage people to eat a healthy diet, watch their calorie intake, and shed those extra pounds, it should at least encourage another thought before over-indulging in those fat causing desserts that we all love so much. In moderation, they are still okay, but ultimately, the best bet is to stay active and always keep track of calories – even on a healthy diet.