Why is Body Fat Unevenly Distributed?
What role do genes play in body fat distribution?
Body fat distribution is highly heritable, with up to 60% of this variation explained by genetics, according to a study published in 2014 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Genes have been implicated in influencing where fat is stored in the body, with visceral fat storage being more associated with complications than subcutaneous fat. Diet and exercise are still the most important lifestyle factors in maintaining a healthy body composition.
A genome-wide association study has revealed that our genes have an influence on where fat is stored in our bodies. The findings, published in Nature Communications in 2019 by researchers at the University of Cambridge, suggest that there are sex-specific genetic effects which explain why body fat is distributed differently in males and females. The study identified specific adiposity loci associated with body fat distribution.
This study identified a number of genetic variants associated with body fat distribution, suggesting that genetic factors contribute to body fat distribution differences among individuals. Uppsala University's Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the proportion of body fat distributed to the arms, legs, and trunk estimated from segmental bio-electrical impedance analysis (sBIA) for 362,499 individuals on PubMed in 2019. The findings demonstrate that genetic factors play an important role in body fat distribution.
Why do women generally have higher body fat percentages than men?
Women generally have higher body fat percentages and store more fat in the gluteal-femoral region than men, who store more fat in the visceral (abdominal) depot, according to a review published by the US National Library of Medicine's National Institutes of Health in 2001. This difference may be attributed to regional fatty acid storage, mobilization and oxidation. Recent research has found that women tend to be more sensitive to dietary fat than men.
How does cortisol affect body fat storage?
The higher the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, the more likely body fat will be stored in android type areas regardless of gender. This is supported by studies from various institutions, such as [4, 12, 13, 14], and is further cemented by the fact that long-term or prolonged periods of stress can trigger this response in the body.
Do women have more body fat than men?
Women have more body fat than men, beginning from birth and increasing until age 25, due to hormones and genetic factors. This has been demonstrated by 25 years of research, according to Scientific American in 2006. This higher fat percentage is largely concentrated on the hips and thighs, which are areas of higher estrogen levels.
What is the ideal body fat percentage for age group 20-29?
Ideal body fat percentages for age groups 20-29 are between 14-19.4%, with dangerously low levels below 14%. This information is according to a chart from Medical News Today, on medicalnewstoday.com, published in 2022. It is also important to note that body fat percentage changes with age.
Why do women have more body fat than men?
Women have a higher percentage of body fat than men, with healthy-weight women having almost twice the body fat as healthy-weight men by age 25, according to an article from Scientific American published in 2006. This fat is often deposited on the hips and thighs of women.
The ideal body fat percentage for men is between 8-19%, according to Beth Israel Lahey Health Winchester Hospital. Generally, a lower body fat percentage is associated with better fitness and health, while a higher body fat percentage can increase the risk of various health complications.
How do hormones affect fat distribution in the body?
Hormones have a considerable influence on the way fat is distributed in the human body, with cortisol and insulin promoting lipid accumulation, while growth hormone encourages lipid mobilization. This was demonstrated in a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health in 1998. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is known to be an important factor in this process.
How does estrogen affect fat deposition in women?
Estrogen plays an important role in fat deposition in women, with higher estrogen levels leading to higher percentage of body fat in girls than boys during puberty. From medical experts from the University of Rochester Medical Center, belly fat is associated with estrogen levels. Estrogen has been linked to increased fat storage in the abdomen, hips, and thighs.
Why do women have more body fat than men?
Women have more body fat than men, with healthy-weight women having almost twice the body fat of healthy-weight men by the age of 25. As stated by a study published by Scientific American in 2006, fat generally deposits on the hips and thighs of women due to their hormonal makeup and gender-specific fat storage pattern. This pattern is designed to help women store more energy for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What is the best way to reduce abdominal fat?
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to reduce abdominal fat. As mentioned in Harvard Health, strength training and spot exercising can help tighten abdominal muscles, but diet is also important. Research shows that reducing calorie intake significantly contributes to successful weight loss.
Can our genes affect fat storage?
A genome-wide association study has found that our genes can affect where fat is stored in our bodies, as published in Nature Communications in 2019. The study led by researchers from various institutions identified adiposity loci and sex-specific genetic effects. The research found that genetic variants associated with fat storage were not shared between men and women.
How can I reduce fat?
It is not possible to target one side of the body to burn fat, as spot training does not work and fat loss is a whole-body process. Sourced from research conducted by Harvard Medical School in 2020 on Uneven Belly Fat, creating an overall caloric deficit through burning more calories than consuming is the only way to reduce fat. Exercise and healthy eating are key components of this process.
What are the types of fat cells in the body?
There are three types of fat cells in the body: white, brown, and beige, which can be stored in essential, subcutaneous, or visceral fat. As mentioned in Healthline, these fat cells differ in their benefits and dangers to the body. Certain types of fat are necessary for the body's normal functioning.
Why is fat important for good health?
Fats are important for good health, especially as we age. According to Vasanti Malik, a research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, regular intake of fat helps give our bodies energy, protect our organs, support cell growth, and keep us warm. It has been found that fats also play a significant role in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from foods.
Can exercising with hand weights help reduce lower belly fat?
Exercising with hand weights and keeping the heart rate between 90 to 110 can help reduce uneven lower belly fat. This technique, known as alternating moderate exercise, helps keep cortisol levels low while burning away fat. As reported by Wholesome Alive in 2020, this can be an effective way to combat uneven lower belly fat. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can also improve overall health and wellbeing.
Do our genes affect where fat is stored in our bodies?
A genome-wide association study has revealed that our genes affect where fat is stored in our bodies, as published in Nature Communications in 2019. Led by the University of Cambridge, this study identified adiposity loci and sex-specific genetic effects that influence body fat distribution. Lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet still play an important role in how fat is stored in the body.
What are the three types of fat cells?
There are three types of fat cells in the body: white, brown, and beige, which are stored in three different ways: essential, subcutaneous, and visceral fat. Cited on Healthline (May 24, 2019), having a healthy balance of fat is important for overall health, as it helps to regulate hormones and produce energy.
How does stress affect body fat distribution?
The stress hormone cortisol affects where body fat is stored, with higher levels leading to increased android type fat storage in both men and women. Cited on research from multiple institutions [4, 12, 13, 14], this response to long term or prolonged stress is the primary factor in how fat is distributed on the body. It is also important to note that hormonal imbalances, dietary habits, and genetics all play a role in how body fat is stored.
What are the two types of dietary fats?
The key to a healthy diet is to focus on incorporating unsaturated fats in moderation and avoiding saturated fats. Mentioned in Harvard Health, there are two types of dietary fats: saturated and unsaturated (with trans fats being mostly eliminated). Eating a balanced diet with unsaturated fats and limiting saturated fats can help maintain overall health and wellness.
What factors influence where fat is stored in the body?
Genetics, age, environment and lifestyle choices all contribute to where fat is stored in the body; women typically store fat on their hips and bum, and men typically store fat around their gut, according to Professor Amanda Salis from the University of Sydney's Boden Institute of Obesity. These patterns may not always be true. Fat storage can also be affected by factors such as hormones and stress.
What are the three types of fat cells in the body?
There are three types of fat cells in the body, each with its own benefits and dangers - white, brown, and beige. Sourced from Healthline.com, essential fat is necessary for a healthy body, while subcutaneous and visceral fat can have negative effects on health if stored in excess. Research has found that regular exercise can help to reduce levels of visceral fat.
What are the three types of body fat?
There are three types of body fat (white, brown, and beige) that can be stored in three ways (essential, subcutaneous, and visceral fat), each with their own benefits and dangers. According to Healthline (May 24, 2019), having the right amount of body fat is important for good health, as fat provides cushioning and insulation, as well as energy for the body.
What is brown fat?
Brown adipose tissue, commonly known as brown fat, is a type of body fat found in small quantities in the neck, shoulders, chest and abdomen that helps to generate heat and keep us warm. Other types of fat tissue with different functions are also present in the body. Harvard Health noted on their website in June 2022 that brown fat helps to burn stored fats and generate heat. Research has shown that brown fat can be activated through exposure to cold temperatures.
What type of fat is stored differently in men and women?
The type of fat stored plays an important role in determining the distribution of fat in both men and women, with apple-shaped bodies storing fat primarily around the midsection and pear-shaped bodies storing fat lower around the hips and thighs, according to a study published by ScienceDaily in 2017. Research has found that women have higher levels of subcutaneous fat than men, which is primarily stored in the arms and legs.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is the set of reactions that occur in an organism to provide energy for vital processes and the synthesis of new organic material. Via StatPearls from the NCBI Bookshelf (2022), metabolism is essential for all living organisms in order to survive by taking nutrients and substances from their environment. These reactions play an important role in maintaining homeostasis.
What types of body fat cells are there?
There are three types of body fat cells: white, brown and beige, which can be stored in three ways: essential, subcutaneous or visceral fat. From Healthline (May 24, 2019), the type of fat cells and the way it is stored can affect a person's overall health. In addition, studies have shown that having too much white fat cells can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
How does metabolism affect kilojoules burned?
Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that take place in the body, which allow life and normal functioning. It affects the amount of kilojoules burned by the body and is influenced by age, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, and physical activity level, according to Better Health Channel (on betterhealth.vic.gov.au), 2020. Diet and lifestyle choices can also impact metabolism.
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