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Health Dangers of Abdominal (Visceral) Fat
By Extraordinary Health Writers
Comments by Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH


There are two types of abdominal fat – the potentially dangerous one being the deeper level of fat underneath your abdominal muscle, also known as visceral fat or intra-abdominal fat.

Many people try to lose fat for appearance sake, but there’s an even more important reason to lose excess fat, especially abdominal fat: your health. Excess fat anywhere on the body can pose problems, but belly fat could be the worst. It doesn’t just hang around doing nothing, although it may seem that way from the outside. On the inside, however, abdominal fat is active at the metabolic level, promoting the secretion of hormones such as the stress hormone cortisol.

The secretions of these hormones not only make it more difficult to lose weight, but also promote body-wide systemic inflammation that increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases, heart failure and DNA changes that can set the stage for cancer cells to grow and metastasize. Researchers believe that the abdominal fat leads to fat around internal organs where it promotes systemic metabolic dysfunction and an increased disease risk.

Scientists from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that those who carry too much fat around the abdomen are at greater risk for heart disease and cancer compared to those who have a similar BMI but carry fat in other areas of the body. This study targeted 3,086 men and women—average age of 50—over a period of seven years. The researchers used CT scans to determine how specific excess fat deposits were linked to disease. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Newer research out of the Mayo Clinic also confirms the problem with belly fat. The researchers studied a representative sample of the American population—12,000 people ages 18 and older—and found that people of normal weight with excess belly fat are more at risk for health problems than those who are obese—although there are many health implications with obesity.

More specifically, they discovered that people with normal BMIs but were apple shaped (a high waist-to-hip ratio) were more likely to die from any cause—even more so than the people who were obese. Likewise, the “belly fat” group was 2.75 times more likely to die from heart disease and twice as likely to die from any cause compared to people with a normal BMI and healthy waist-to-hip ratio.

And while abdominal fat appears to cause the most trouble, carrying around too much weight in general is not to be underestimated for its effects. In fact, researchers out of Sweden found that adding just a few pounds of weight can raise the risk of heart failure by 17 percent. Their findings were published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Lead study researcher Dr. Tove Fall from the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University, stated, “We can now confirm what many people have long believed, that increased BMI contributes to the development of heart failure.”

In fact, the study indicated that an increase of only one unit of BMI raises the risk of developing heart failure and cardiac dysfunction by an average of 20 percent, while obesity can lead to higher blood pressure, higher insulin levels, worsen cholesterol values, increased inflammation markers and increased risk of diabetes.

So, if you have some weight to lose, then go for it—especially if its belly fat, although other excess fat is good to lose, too. A few steps you can take to reduce abdominal fat are to eat more soluble fiber and to incorporate moderate activity several times a week into your schedule, according to Wake Forest researchers. The truth is that losing even a little weight can help to improve your health. Below are additional comments and suggestions by Nutritionist Christine Dreher.

Comments & Suggestions by Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH

The following are four areas that I feel are important to address in reducing visceral abdominal fat and their resulting potential health hazards. I describe them below in detail:

  1. Support Healthy Cortisol Levels
  2. Hormone Balance Support for 40+ Men and for Women
  3. Nutritional Support to Reduce Abdominal Fat
  4. Weight Management & Healthy Lifestyle Support

1. Support Healthy Cortisol Levels

Support for reducing your stress hormone cortisol and supporting your insulin levels:

I recommend a supercritical extraction of an herb called Holy Basil to help reduce cortisol levels. It helps to support not only normal cortisol levels but also supports insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels. It also helps to protect cells from radiation damage and helps to uplift, calm, and balance! More information available on our web page here:

For further information on Holy Basil, see the article “Finding Calm with Holy Basil”.

2. Hormone Balance Support for 40+ Men and for Women

Testosterone levels diminishing after 40 years old for men and Estrogen Dominance for women can lead to an increased fat mass, resulting in unhealthy abdominal fat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the body’s testosterone levels peak during adolescence and early adulthood. Starting around age 40, the body produces less Testosterone. Testosterone deficiency can have several effects on the body, including: decreased sexual function, loss of bone density, loss of muscle mass, increase in fat mass, reduced muscle strength, memory loss, and mood changes and depression.

So for men over 40 years of age, a natural hormonal testosterone boosting complex such as Testro Max for Men transdermal cream can help to restore diminishing testosterone levels. Visit our website for more information on Testro Max for Men here:

Women can gain weight due to estrogen dominance, especially around 40 years of age, as progesterone levels start diminishing up to a decade before estrogen levels drop. I suggest to start supplementing with a natural progesterone cream such as ProgestaCare from 40 years on and then switching to Progesta Care Plus Phytoestrogens or ProgestaCare w/ Estriol after menopause to balance hormone levels.

For additional hormonal support for women of every age, I suggest reading the article “A natural Estrogenic Balancer for Women of Every Age” on our website here:

Women also do need Testosterone as hormone levels diminish. Although, we tend to think of the hormone Testosterone primarily for men, it is also very important for the well-being of women. Testosterone is produced in women’s ovaries and adrenal glands at about 1/10 the amount males produce. As women get older their ovarian and adrenal function declines, and with it their Testosterone levels. See the Testro-Care for Women on our website for more information:

For more information on the importance of Testosterone supplementation as we reach 40+ years, please see the article "Diminishing Testosterone Levels = Diminishing Libido Male Man-o-Pause & for Women Too" for more information:

Also see the article “Why Knowing Your Nutritional Needs is so Essential for Health & Longevity for both Men & Women 40+ Years Young” for more information.

3. Nutritional Support to Reduce Abdominal Fat

Nutritional Support to help reduce excess abdominal fat and curb stress-related eating.

I recommend Garden of Life’s Perfect Weight Multivitamin as it is a comprehensive multi-vitamin with RAW Food-Created Nutrients offering an extreme synergistic blend of vitamins and minerals for extraordinary health and vitality. This specialized formula designed especially for those seeking their perfect weight the nutritional needs to support the following areas:

  • Metabolism – Ashwagandha, Vitamin B Complex, Chromium
  • Heart Health – Vitamin B Complex, Vitamins C and E
  • Mental and Physical Energy – Vitamin B Complex, Chromium, Iron
  • Immune Support – Vitamins C, A, Selenium, Zinc
  • Optimal Digestion – Live Probiotics and Enzymes, Vitamin D
  • Stress Response – Ashwagandha, Vitamins A, C, and E, B Complex, Selenium

Ashwagandha, along with vitamins A, C, E, B complex and selenium are also included in the Perfect Weight Formula to help reduce stress- related over eating and carbohydrate cravings. Visit our web page here for more information:

4. Weight Management & Healthy Lifestyle Support

Perfect Weight America – Healthy Weight Management Program

I recommend the Perfect Weight America Healthy Weight Management Book and Program by Jordan Rubin and the Garden of Life PWA support products because this provides you access to much more than just another weight loss diet fad. It is a way for you to learn to transform your health, your body, and your life. Program highlights include:

  • Change your Diet
    • Eat for your “perfect weight”
    • Eat for your individual body type, age, gender and region
    • Maximize nutrient intake while reducing calories to ensure healthy weight loss
    • Eat & Cleanse with the seasons.
  • Change Your Life
    • Find an exercise program that you can live with
    • Learn about the supplements you can live without and those you can’t
    • Eliminate toxins inside and outside of your body
    • Reduce stress and get more rest to achieve weight loss and overall health goals
    • Focus on mental and emotional balance for well-being and total body, mind and spirit wellness

The Perfect Weight America Success Kit contains what you need for a 40-day jump start on transforming your body, your health, and your life. Visit our website for more information:

To a healthy, fit, and fabulous You!!!


Note: The content provided in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. You are encouraged to consult with your medical health care provider regarding any health concern or health-related condition you may have.

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