Sunday, December 23, 2007

General Health Topic - Large Waist = Increased Heart Attack Risk

Hello Everyone,

Need more motivation to lose that spare tire around the mid-section?

Did you know that increased waist size is an indicator that you may be at increased risk for a heart attack? True story! Why you ask?

Here's why.

There are two main areas where fat stores in the body. One is the fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat) and the other is deep in the abdomen, around organs like the liver and stomach. that deep stored fat (visceral fat) is the one that causes the problems.

The visceral fat near the liver provides a steady supply of fat that is converted into cholesterol. That cholesterol then circulates throughout the body which can be deposited in the blood vessels and clog them. Clogging of the blood vessels and arteries can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Visceral fat also acts like a body organ and can secrete chemicals (Interleukin 6 (IL-6), C-Reactive Protein (CRP)) that can cause inflammation in the body. That includes inflammation of the arteries. Those inflamed arteries can also become obstructed causing heart attacks and stroke. Studies also indicate that increased levels of IL-6 and CRP can predict the development of Type 2 Diabetes. There are other studies that support the hypothesis that body fat is the main determining factor of metabolic abnormalities and chronic low inflammation (Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2004 Apr;14(2):66-72)

According to Dr. Paul Donohue, a man's waist should measure 40 inches or less and a woman's should be 35 inches or less.

Here is the good news. Walking, jogging, biking and swimming and other forms of exercise can reduce visceral fat.

I'm going to be on the treadmill soon. Right after lunch!

Until later,

Dr. Paul

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