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Liposuction Unlikely to Prevent or Treat Diabetes

Liposuction means that a surgeon cuts fat from your body or removes it with a suction machine. Most liposuction procedures take out fat underneath your skin. Your body stores fat:
• underneath your skin,
• in your muscles,
• in your belly, and
• around and in organs.

Excess fat in your liver and around the organs in your belly prevents your cells from responding to insulin, which can lead to diabetes and heart attacks. Excess fat underneath your skin or in your muscles has not been shown to increase risk for diabetes and its complications. Liposuction does not treat or prevent diabetes because it usually removes fat from underneath your skin and not from around your organs. Removing fat from underneath your skin causes the fat to return later around your organs and in your belly. (Obesity, May 2011;19:1388-1390). Surgical removal of fat underneath the skin of the belly or anywhere else does not lower high blood pressure, high blood sugar or insulin.

How Full Fat Cells Inside Your Belly Lead to Diabetes
Almost everyone with a fat belly and small hips either has or will soon develop diabetes. Fat cells in your belly turn on your immunity to cause inflammation, while fat underneath your skin turns off your immunity to decrease inflammation. Inflammation contributes to diabetes, heart attacks and premature death.

Fat around the organs in your belly is like a giant gland that sends out hormones called pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha and IL-6, that turn on your immunity to prevent your body from responding to insulin. Belly fat:
• is associated with lower testosterone in both men and women
• is associated with higher levels of hormones that cause inflammation: growth hormone, IGF-1 and insulin
• increases with excessive intake of carbohydrates or saturated fat
• is associated with lack of exercise
• is associated with aging
• is associated with high levels of small-dense LDL-cholesterol particles that are linked to diabetes
• is associated with high blood levels of triglycerides
• is associated with low levels of HDL-cholesterol

Storing Fat in Your Thighs and Buttocks Is Good
Having fat in your hips and upper legs (instead of your belly) helps to prevent heart attacks and diabetes. It is associated with decreased formation of plaques in your arteries. Small hips or buttocks are an independent risk factor for diabetes, even if you are not overweight.

Exercise Reduces Belly Fat
Both lifting weights and continuous aerobic exercise reduce belly organ fat. Most fat lost during the first two weeks of calorie restriction or exercise is from around belly organs. See A Quick Cure for Fatty Liver

Checked 1/4/19

April 26th, 2015
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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