New Study Suggests That Belly Fat Is Worse Than Obesity For Your Heart Health


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The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to assess overall fitness, however, a new study has found that weight concentrated around the middle can be more harmful than obesity itself.

The waist to hip ratio is proving to be a better predictor of heart disease and other illness than BMI alone.

Participants were divided into six groups based on which of the three BMI groups they fell into, and whether they had a normal or high waist-to-hip ratio. Men whose waist measurement was 90 percent or more of their hip measurement were considered to have a high hip-to-waist ratio. The same was true of women; those with waists that were 85 percent of their hip size were classified as having a high hip-to-waist ratio.

Participants with normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio had the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and the highest risk of dying from any causes among the six groups.
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from any cause was 2.08 times higher among normal-weight people with “central obesity,” compared with normal-weight people who had a normal waist-to-hip ratio.
“The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors,” said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, also of Mayo Clinic.

Men can be highly susceptible to accumulating belly fat and inactivity, poor diet and stress contribute to visceral fat.

Keeping your abs toned and your middle “whittled” is the best way to avoid disease and keep your heart strong.

Muscle Armor

A training program in the form of progressive resistance exercise builds muscular size and strength. In order for a training routine to be productive, however, it must first provide the correct stimulus to induce an adaptive response. Second, a workout that stimulates and adaptive response must provide for recovery. Third, in order for recovery and subsequent size and strength increases to occur, nutrients, which are of limited supply in our bodies, must be provided. It is clear that the most important nutrient for recovery is protein. In particular, essential amino acids contained in complete protein sources; dairy, meats, and fish. It is well documented that essential amino acids consumed before, during, and after resistance training boost strength and size gains.

HMB is a metabolite of the essential amino acid L-leucine. During many studies on protein effects, L-leucine seemed to be the single greatest contributor to muscle protein synthesis. A recent study examined the effects of an essential amino acid based product, Muscle Armor (MA); manufactured by Abbott Laboratories contains beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB).

Seventeen healthy men were randomly assigned to one of two groups and performed twelve weeks of periodized heavy resistance training while supplementing with either MA or an isocaloric, isonitrogenous placebo (Control group (CG)). Every two weeks the subject?s strength and power were measured and blood was drawn. More-over the blood draws taken were performed pre, mid and post-training. Researchers found the MA group affected training induced changes in muscular size and strength to a significantly greater extent than the CG. Also found, was reduced levels of circulating muscle damage markers creatine kinase and malondealdehyde compared with the CG. In addition, the MA group experienced increases in resting and exercise-induced testosterone and resting growth hormone levels with reduced pre-exercise cortisol levels.
(Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2009;41(5):1111-1121)

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