The Connection Between Belly Fat & Inflammation

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If you don’t already have a long list of reasons to get rid of any excess weight in your waistline, this post explores the direct connection between inflammation and belly fat in detail. As more time passes, there is more research coming to the forefront to confirm that carrying extra weight on your gut area can have a detrimental effect on other parts of the body, including chronic inflammation which could then lead to diabetes, heart disease and more.


Diseases Linked to Belly Fat

·       High Blood Pressure
·       Inflammatory Bowel Disease
·       Type-2 Diabetes
·       Rheumatoid and/or Psoriatic Arthritis
·       Systemic Lupus
·       Psoriasis
·       Colorectal Cancer
·       Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
·       Multiple Sclerosis
·       Cardiovascular Disease
·       Sleep Apnoea



Why Is Belly Fat So Much Worse Than Fat in Other Parts?

If you have fat on the butt, back, legs or arm, this actually has very little effect in terms of causing serious harm to the body. The reason that abdominal fat is so bad is due in part to its proximity to the intestinal organs. The fat that is in your arms and other areas listed above, is called Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue, whereas the fat around your belly is called Visceral Adipose Tissue; also known as SAT and VAT.

Visceral Fat actually attracts immune cells known as Lymphocytes and Macrophages, which are responsible for releasing cytokines that disrupt your metabolism and end up causing more inflammation and more fat to accumulate in the belly region.


Fat increases inflammation in a number of ways:

1.     A Slower Release of Adiponectin (a protein which regulates blood sugar levels and breaks down fatty acids)
2.     An Increase in Adipose Tissue Hypoxia (a lack of oxygen reaching the fat cells)
3.     Decreased Release of Leptin (the hormone that tells you you're 'full')


Inflammation is stimulated when oxygen struggles to reach cells, and this happens to the fat cells when they are enlarged. When you put on weight, this causes your fat cells to become bigger, and as those cells transition from lean cells to the obese stages, there is less room for the oxygen (even when you lose weight you don't lose fat cells, you just shrink them, leaving more room for the oxygen). This specific process is strongly tied to metabolic irregularities.

In their normal healthy state, the bodily tissues will use oxygen to burn off any excess fat. Some essential immune cells actually depend on oxygen for their normal functioning energy. Other cells, which are the type you see in a person that is obese, such as inflamed immune cells, insulin resistant or metabolically challenged cell do not need oxygen for energy.

There is so much research that confirms the unforgiving effects that sustained belly fat can have on your body. Having an ‘apple shaped’ body is also strongly linked with having inflammatory diseases. On the contrary, those with a ‘pear shaped’ body who tend to store their fat on their hips have a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease in general. This is why some Doctors will measure out the circumference of a persons’ body in order to ascertain any people who may have an elevated risk of these issues.

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What Harm Can Be Caused By Inflammation?

Contrary to popular belief, inflammation is a serious issue. It is a complicated process that your body goes through in order to combat the effects of irritants, pathogens or cells that are damaged. Essentially, it is your body using its natural instinctive ability to safeguard itself through the removal of harmful substances. Simply put, it is part of the immunological response of your body, and it is a way of kickstarting the healing process.

If inflammation occurs within your body frequently, which can easily occur if you have a poor diet, your body might then become chronically inflamed which is essentially a type of autoimmune disease. This is a serious condition as your body will switch from its natural protective state, and turn instead to focus on attacking itself, which will undoubtedly result in more longer-term health consequences.

Chronic fatigue and joint pain are just two of the common symptoms of such a condition, in some cases, this inflammation even spreads to the gums in the form of Gingivitis. In some cases, there will be no warning signs externally or internally until a serious health concern prevails.


There are also many different types of foods that you can consume which are stated to help you to burn belly fat and fight-off inflammation within the body:

·       Broccoli
·       Cinnamon
·       Turmeric
·       Ginger
·       Green Apples
·       Spinach
·       Strawberries
·       Salmon
·       Avocado
·       Lemon
·       Leek


This is not an extensive list by any means, but it will help to get you started and back on track. Nobody wants to carry around excess weight on their belly; however, if you were looking for that extra bit of motivation in order to kick-start your new abdominal regime, we hope you found the inspiration and information you were looking for in this post.


Benefits of Tumeric


Turmeric, an ancient spice from the same family as ginger, is something that could be missing from your life. Turmeric contains some handy little things called curcuminoids, the main ones are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These fellas are responsible for most of the anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and antioxidant properties that turmeric contains. This spice can be helpful as a natural therapeutic relief to tissue injury, arthritis, phlebitis, tuberculosis, fevers, allergies, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, gastritis, tissue irritation and autoimmune disorders (McMahon, 1997). Turmeric is also packed full of micro-nutrients that your body requires, like niacin, sodium, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, E, and K.

So lets simplify and break down 5 things turmeric can do for you:

1. It is an anti-inflammatory Although short-term inflammation can be necessary for the body, long-term (chronic) inflammation can work against your own tissues and cells (Singh & Aggarwhal, 1995). The curcumin, which I mentioned before, is so anti-inflammatory that it has matched effectiveness with some medical-grade anti-inflammatory drugs (Jurenka, 2009).  Beau’s fibromyalgia was causing him a lot of pain one day (more than usual) and he was aching all over and felt like he was getting the flu, but had no other symptoms, so I made him a turmeric tea. Beau said that he used to mainly get the pain through his hips and he noticed that an hour or two after the tea the pain had just disappeared. He drinks it every day now.

2. Fights colds and flu Heat 1 cup of milk with ½ a teaspoon of turmeric (and then strain out the turmeric and drink the milk – it does not taste pleasant…) as a natural remedy to colds and flus. Studies have shown that the spice can help reduce the symptoms and severity of colds (Turmeric: the golden spice’, 2013).

3. Helps indigestion and weight loss There have been some studies which have shown that curcumin is able to help reduce symptoms of indigestion and bloating and acts as a natural thermogen. If you’re not yet familiar with the world of supplements a thermogen is a product that promotes thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a process that takes place when the central nervous system of the body burns fat in order to maintain it’s regular temperature. Increased rates of thermogenesis can mean increased body temperature but also greater fat burning and faster weight loss (Jin-Gyu, 2014).

4. Relief for arthritis and other joint inflammation The pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be relieved by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. In addiction to the pain relief because it’s a ‘natural pain killer’, turmeric has been found to also destroy free radicals in the body, free radicals can damage your cells.

5. Controls diabetes Turmeric has been found to moderate insulin levels, improve glucose control and increase the effectiveness of diabetes medications (Finney-Brown, 2011). It is still best to consult a medical professional before taking turmeric capusules for this purpose.

So there you have it! Five great things about turmeric, and there are way more too! The easiest way to have turmeric is half a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water (like a tea). The taste does take a bit to get used to, if you really can’t tolerate it try adding some cinnamon and/or raw honey.



Finney-Brown, T 2011, ‘Turmeric for diabetes’, Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, vol. 23, no.2, p 96.

Jin-Gyu, K 2014, ‘Beneficial dietary effect of turmeric and sulphur on weight gain, fat deposition and lipid profile of serum and liver in rats’, Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 774-779.

Jurenka, J 2009, ‘Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research’, Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 14, no. 3, p 277.\

McMahon, S 1997, ‘Tumeric: from kitchen cabinet to medicine chest’, Vegetarian Times, vol. 240, p 70.

Singh, S & Aggarwhal B 1995, ‘Activation of transciription factor NF-kB is suppressed by curcumin (diferuloylmethane)’, Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 270, no. 44, pp. 24995-25000.

"Turmeric: The Golden Spice." Facts For You 8 Jan. 2013. General OneFile. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.