Carrying Extra Fat? Location Is Key to Heart Health

In All Health Watch

Location, location, location.

Just as it’s important in real estate, it’s also vital to how body fat affects your health.

The location of fat determines whether it will clog your arteries and potentially give you a heart attack. 

A recent study published in the journal Menopause looked at 659 women over 55. All were suspected of having obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). That’s when plaque starts to block the arteries and often leads to a heart attack. Testing revealed that 47% had the condition.

Researchers found that how much body fat the subjects carried had no connection to whether they had CAD. What mattered was the location of the fat. Subjects with CAD were far more likely to have belly fat.

Patients with belly fat had a 55.5% chance of having CAD. Those without it had a 41% chance.[1]

While the study subjects were women, there’s no reason to think the results wouldn’t hold true for men as well.

The bottom line is this: Although obesity is a CAD risk factor, it’s far worse if you carry fat in the abdominal region.

Dr. Stephanie Faubion is medical director for the group that published the study. She said the findings show that “not all fat is the same.”

Two Supplements to Beat Belly Fat

Most of us know that a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce belly fat.

But there are two supplements that studies show can shrink your “spare tire.”

  • Vitamin D. Researchers in Holland found that a vitamin D deficiency has a “strong relationship with increasing amounts of abdominal fat.” Their study of over 6,000 people concluded that “individuals with larger waistlines…should consider having their vitamin D levels checked.”[2]

Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your vitamin D. Anything less than 20 ng/mL means you are deficient. Spending 15 minutes in the sun each day with your arms and legs exposed can help increase your levels.

If that’s not possible, take a 5,000 mg vitamin D supplement every day. Make sure you buy the D3 form, not D2. D3 will increase your levels of vitamin D more than twice as much as D2 will.

  • Black pepper. In a study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, scientists found that black pepper reduces belly fat.[3]

Black pepper contains the compound piperine. It gives pepper its pungent flavor. It also makes you thinner.

Not only does pepper reduce belly fat, but it keeps new fat cells from forming.  It also boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories.

You can’t get a therapeutic dose of piperine from using black pepper as a spice. Instead, take a black pepper or piperine supplement. They are widely available at health stores and online.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important. But for the sake of your heart health, it’s even more crucial to avoid a chubby stomach.

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