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A study from Japan explains why having a fat belly increases your risk for heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.

When you store a lot of fat over your belly muscles, you also store a lot of fat in your liver. Extra fat in the liver prevents your liver from removing insulin from the bloodstream. The extra insulin acts on your brain to make you feel hungry so you eat more. It acts on your liver to manufacture more triglycerides from the food that you eat. It also blocks your liver from making the good HDL cholesterol that prevents heart attacks. It constricts arteries to block the flow of blood to your heart. And it causes fat cells in your belly and liver to fill up with more fat and cause even higher blood levels of insulin. If you have excess fat stored primarily in your belly, avoid bakery products, pastas and all sugar-added foods (the foods that cause the highest rise in insulin). See report #1555.

Visceral fat accumulation contributes to insulin resistance, small-sized low-density lipoprotein, and progression of coronary artery disease in middle-aged non-obese Japanese men. H Kobayashi, T Nakamura, K Miyaoka, M Nishida, T Funahashi, S Yamashita, Y Matsuzawa. Japanese Circulation Journal - English Edition, 2001, Vol 65, Iss 3, pp 193-199Address:Nakamura T, Osaka Univ, Grad Sch Med, Dept Internal Med & Mol Sci, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 5650871, JAPAN

Checked 5/3/07

June 1st, 2013
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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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