Visceral fat influences production of cholesterol by releasing free fatty acids into blood stream and your liver. Increase of bad cholesterol LDL and lowering of good cholesterol HDL is directly linked with visceral fat level.
The reason why excess visceral fat is harmful can be because of its location near your portal vein. Portal vein carries blood from intestinal area to liver. Substances released by visceral fat such as fatty acids enter portal vein and travel to liver and influence the production of lipids.
Produce cytokines which are proteins that can trigger inflammation and act as a risk factor for heart disease.
Ex: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and Interleukin 6 (IL- 6) are cytokines secreted by visceral fat which increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
Produce a precursor of angiotensin which causes your blood vessels to constrict, increasing your blood pressure.
Visceral fat secretes retinol binding protein which increases resistance to insulin making you more prone to develop diabetes. Increased insulin resistance means your cells do not respond to normal levels of the hormone insulin, which causes blood glucose to rise.
However, subcutaneous fat produces some beneficial molecules such as Leptin and Adiponectin. Leptin acts on your brain to suppress your appetite and burn stored fat. Adiponectin regulates processing of sugars and fats in your body and protects you from diabetes. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to protect the lining of your blood vessels.
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