Diabetes Self-Management Blog

It has often been repeated that having a “pear-shaped” body, or one that carries excess fat in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, has health advantages over having an “apple-shaped” body, or one that carries extra fat around the midsection. But recent research conducted by the UC Davis Health System has called this assumption into question, indicating that people with both body shapes are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of related conditions including insulin resistance, obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal blood fat levels. Having metabolic syndrome doubles a person’s risk for heart disease and increases his risk for Type 2 diabetes at least five-fold. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the syndrome affects roughly 35% of Americans over age 20.

To determine the impact of fat in the buttocks on the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, researchers recruited 45 people with early metabolic syndrome (defined as having at least three risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and high blood fat levels without cardiovascular disease or diabetes). A group of 30 control subjects, matched for gender and age but with fewer than two risk factors for metabolic syndrome and with normal glucose and triglyceride (a type of blood fat) levels, were also included.

Complete blood counts, blood fat, blood glucose, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) levels were measured in all participants. Levels of chemerin, resistin, visfatin, and omentin-1 — proteins secreted by fat tissue — were measured in blood samples and in fat samples taken from under the skin of the buttocks.

The researchers found that levels of chemerin were increased and levels of omentin-1 were decreased in both the blood and fat samples of people with metabolic syndrome compared to those in the control group. Both high chemerin and low omentin-1 are known to correlate with risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes: High chemerin levels are associated with high blood pressure, elevated levels of C-reactive protein and triglycerides, insulin resistance, and low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, while low omentin-1 levels are associated with high levels of triglycerides and blood glucose levels and low levels of HDL cholesterol.

According to lead study author Ishwarlal Jialal, MD, PhD, “Fat in the abdomen has long been considered the most detrimental to health, and gluteal fat was thought to protect against diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. But our research helps to dispel the myth that gluteal fat is ‘innocent.’ It also suggests that abnormal protein levels may be an early indicator to identify those at risk for developing metabolic syndrome.”

For more information, read the article “Study Deflates Notion That Pear-Shaped Bodies More Healthy Than Apples” or see the study’s abstract in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. And to learn more about the metabolic syndrome, click here.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. There are no comments at this time.


Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Type 2 Diabetes
Study on Factors Influencing Type 2 Management (04/15/14)
What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Gestational, MODY, and Steroid-Induced (04/15/14)
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Type 1, Type 2, and LADA (04/07/14)

Heart Health
Heart Health Fact or Fiction (02/18/14)
Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women (02/14/14)
Giving Your Heart a Helping Hand (02/10/14)
Metformin Affects Hearts of Men and Women Differently (01/03/14)

Diabetes Research
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)
Diabetes Developed at Midlife May Affect Brain Function in Old Age (03/21/14)
Many Americans Taking Meds That Work Against Each Other (03/14/14)

Diabetes News
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
FDA Panel Votes in Favor of Inhalable Insulin; Diet Drug Recalled (04/09/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)
Diabetes Developed at Midlife May Affect Brain Function in Old Age (03/21/14)

Diane Fennell
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
FDA Panel Votes in Favor of Inhalable Insulin; Diet Drug Recalled (04/09/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)
Diabetes Developed at Midlife May Affect Brain Function in Old Age (03/21/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.


Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions