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UC Davis study deflates notion that pear-shaped bodies more healthy than apples
Date:1/10/2013

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) People who are "apple-shaped" with fat more concentrated around the abdomen have long been considered more at risk for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes than those who are "pear-shaped" and carry weight more in the buttocks, hips and thighs.

But new research conducted at UC Davis Health System published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism provides further evidence that the protective benefits of having a pear-body shape may be more myth than reality. The journal article posted online January 10 and will appear in the March 2013 print edition.

The UC Davis study found that fat stored in the buttock area also known as gluteal adipose tissue secretes abnormal levels of chemerin and omentin-1, proteins that can lead to inflammation and a prediabetic condition know as insulin resistance in individuals with early metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that occur together, doubling the risk for heart disease and increasing the risk for diabetes at least five-fold. Risk factors include having a large waistline, low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, high blood pressure as well as high fasting blood sugar ( insulin resistance) and high triglyceride levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, metabolic syndrome affects 35 percent of American adults over age 20.

"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," said Ishwarlal Jialal, lead author of the study and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and of internal medicine at UC Davis. "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."


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Contact: Carole Gan
carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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