Visceral Fat Causes Artery Disease

November 05, 2023

Visceral Fat Causes Artery Disease

Visceral fat is the fat around your organs. It is internal fat and very different than subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is what you pinch on your side or arm or wherever. Subcutaneous fat is designed to store calories in order to make it through winter or any other calorie-deprivation period. It does not cause inflammation.

Visceral fat is a whole different affair. It spews out all sorts of inflammatory cytokines. Those cytokines cause damage and dysfunction in the endothelium of your arteries. The endothelium is essentially a thin layer on the inside of the artery that is nice and stretchy. A healthy endothelium is another term for normal blood pressure.

What happens if you gain weight? Well, take 43 young adults (18 women) and assign them to gain 4 kilograms (9 pounds) over 6 weeks. Then, with an MRI measure their total body subcutaneous fat, and their visceral fat. Add their flow-mediated dilation (FMD) to the mix and measure how it changes from baseline, to weight gain, and back to baseline after weight loss. The level of subcutaneous fat did not predict or correlate with changes in flow-mediated dilation. Visceral fat did. Flow-mediated dilation is the best measure we have of a healthy response to blood flow changes. The quantity of visceral fat in your tummy predicts the dysfunction and level of dysfunction in your arteries.  There you have it. That's the link.  

This is a big deal. In fact, it is the core of the heart disease story. Endothelial dysfunction is the first step in developing coronary artery disease. As endothelial cells get damaged, they pull apart from each other, opening gaps through which small, dense LDLs can get in. That's how cholesterol lipid pools get started. Repairing levels of cholesterol with statins doesn't fix the endothelial dysfunction, (ED). If you want to fix coronary artery risk, you have to stop the engine that's driving it. It is not cholesterol. It is the endothelial dysfunction, caused by visceral fat. Cholesterol is like the crowd at a football game. It gets all the attention, and affects the game a teeny, tiny bit, but is not the main game.

The real question is what is the initial damage to the endothelium that makes it so vulnerable to visceral fat inflammation? Answer: deficiency in plasmalogen lipids.

Speaking of ED, Endothelial Dysfunction highly correlates with Erectile Difficulty. In fact, in a study of 6,000 US Army soldiers, loss of visceral fat correlated strongly with increased muscle mass, increased pulse wave visibility, and increased erectile ability. (Podcast Communications)

Want to fix your artery disease? Lose your visceral fat. Repair your plasmalogen deficiency (Prodrome Glia and Neuro, 4 capsules of each a day). Take Nitric Oxide lozenges twice a day (Two companies now.). Get more Vitamin K2.

How can you fix visceral fat? It actually burns off faster than your subcutaneous fat when you have demand for stored calories. Intermittent fasting, fast-mimicking diet, Bright Line Eating, Whole Foods Diet....any diet that focuses on real, whole food with no artificial ingredients, sweeteners, sugars, or additive chemicals - they all work. That means no cured meats, no pizza, no fast food. No processed foods. Eat the apple, not the sauce. Eat the potato, not the chip. Then, make sure you get a good night's sleep, reduce stress, no alcohol, and exercise in bursts. No 5-mile runs. Certainly no 10+ mile runs either. Marathoners are all full of visceral fat, even though they look skinny. The extreme stress of marathon running makes for visceral fat, even when one appears trim. Do burst exercises instead: 100-yard sprints, 50-yard swims, 3 minutes on the exercise bike.

Your muscle mass will improve. Your face will slim down. Your belt line will get smaller. You will be able to see your pulses beating when you look at your wrist or your arm. Both men and women report better sexual function. Ah, there's a great motive! It's doable.

www.What will Work for me? I got confirmation from my MRI place that they are working on getting the MRI protocol set up so that your visceral fat can be measured. This should be interesting. I want to get mine done. I'm not sure I want to know the answer. I'm trying to buy more whole vegetables to make fresh vegetables. Frozen would be ok too, but fresh green beans are so delicious.

References:JAMA Network, J Am Coll Cardiology, Dhru Purohit Podcast 433, Nephrology Dial Trans,

Pop Quiz

1. What effect does visceral fat have on your arteries?                           Answer: You can measure endothelial dysfunction that takes as little as a 9-pound weight gain to cause.

2. What is endothelial dysfunction?                       Answer: The elegantly slender covering cells of your arteries pull back and stop covering the whole artery wall. There are gaps. A simple measure of that is whether you have high blood pressure. Not a perfect correlation, but cheap to measure. MRI of your abdomen is the gold standard.

3. What's wrong with gaps in the wall of your endothelium?                             Answer: That's where small, dense, oxidized LDLs get in. That's what it takes for heart disease to get started.

4. How does visceral fat damage the endothelium?                         Answer: Visceral fat spews out showers of inflammatory cytokines. Regular fat doesn't. Those inflammatory cytokines circulate in your blood. Your arteries have plasmalogen lipids as part of their membranes. Plasmalogens are the first line of defense for a cell against oxidizing stress. They have a vinyl-ether bond that is on the surface of the cell, waiting to deactivate peroxide, the universal messenger of oxidative stress. The plasmalogen content of the endothelial cell membrane gets depleted. The cell shrinks and pulls its membranes back in. Gaps open up. LDLs get in.

5. Is there published literature to support the plasmalogen hypothesis of coronary artery disease?          Answer: You bet.