TYPES OF BODYFAT

Most people can name different body types and types of fat distributions. Some people gain and store fat evenly spread throughout their bodies, while others carry most of their „extra weight” on their bellies, or their buttocks. Adipose tissues stored at different parts of your body have different functions and different qualities.


Probably the most important and biggest difference is between the so called visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue.


Subcutaneous adipose tissue:


This is the adipose tissue located right under your skin. If you can „pinch an inch”, that’s what you are grabbing. One of its main functions is insulating your body. You can run a little experience yourself: search an area where you have little subcutaneous fat (for example your shoulders) and touch it with one of your hands. With your other hand touch the area where you store the excess fat on your body (ladies – buttocks, guys – belly). Feel the difference. What do you feel?


The part covered with fat will be a lot cooler – that is because the adipose tissue under your skin insulates that part of your body and you do not lose that much heat through that area. The subcutaneous adipose tissue has a low capillary density, and low blood flow. The problem is that blood and lymphatic circulation is very important during the breakdown of stored triglycerides to ensure the removal of by-products like glycerol, and to move fatty acids to the tissues where they can be used as an energy source.


Visceral adipose tissue:


Also known as belly fat. This tissue is located inside the peritoneum, around your organs – and that’s where the problems begin. This tissue has a high capillary density. Also, this tissue acts like a separate endocrine organ, secreting different hormones (like mostly estrogen due to high aromatase content), certain inflammatory citokines and other compounds into the bloodstream. These secreted compounds travel via the portal vein straight to the liver.


Your liver is your bodies main nutrient distributor. If you have a problem with your liver, you have a real problem. The inflammatory citokines decrease insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. This results in increased adiposity, leading to more inflammatory citokine excretion, leading to even worse insulin sensitivity – and the downward spiral has started. This spiral can lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.


Subcutaneous vs. visceral adipose tissue:


Accumulating visceral adiopse tissue is unhealthy. The effects of subcutaneous adipose tissue on health ar not that pronounced – subcutaneous adipose tissue is actually „protective” compared to visceral adiposity. However, you cannot decide where we want to store your extra bodyfat. As long as you keep your bodyfat percentage in a reasonable and healthy range, the visceral:subcutaneous ratio will stay in the healthy range as well.


To get rid of the excess fat, the most important tools are the same: diet and exercise. Supplements usually target the visceral adipose tissue, as it has a higher blood flow and all the supplements taken orally end up in your blood stream. If you wish to target the stubborn subcutaneous fat stores, a topical cream will be a better option.


Start with a good diet and a good training plan. Based on where you are, you can add further tools – if you’ve just got started and you are overweight, an oral supplement would be your best choice. If you are a competitor just a couple of weeks out, you should go for a topical cream.


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