Adipose tissue is not only energy storage, but acts as an organ that produces various messengers. Especially the bacon sends out sometimes fatal signals that the medicine just now recognizes in its full extent. Among other things, the fatty tissue in the abdominal cavity releases immune messengers, which cause a kind of chronic inflammation and thus promote the development of arteriosclerosis. It also reduces the effect of insulin, which promotes the development of diabetes.
Adipose tissue acts as a separate organ on the whole body
20 to 30 percent of Germans are affected by the "prosperity syndrome" - a time bomb: "Obviously, obesity promotes hypertension, blood sugar and lipid metabolism disorders, but only recently have we recognized the mechanisms and the fact that, above all, the adipose tissue in the abdominal cavity is a high risk ", explains Prof. Dr. med. Harald Klein, Director of the Medical Clinic I of Bergmannsheil. Among the new findings is that signals from adipose tissue also affect the brain, muscles and vessels. Especially from the bacon (so-called visceral fat) more messenger substances are formed, which also play a role in inflammations, eg TNFα and interleukin 6.
It is believed that this chronic inflammatory response favors the development of arteriosclerosis and increases the risk of diabetes by reducing the effectiveness of insulin. To make matters worse, that increases in adipose tissue in the abdominal cavity, the concentration of another, especially in the other fatty tissue formed messenger decreases: adiponectin.
"Adiponectin is anti-inflammatory in the blood vessels and increases the insulin action, so that it may also gain therapeutic significance, " said Prof. Klein. Finally, substances are formed in the visceral adipose tissue, which can influence the coagulation system and the blood pressure.
Many aspects: sleep problems, fatty liver, blood lipid levels
A different scientific aspect is also of great interest to the researchers: in the search for the age gene, it has been discovered that the receptor for insulin plays a major role, at least in worms. If he or downstream mechanisms do not work, the animals get older. "This fits well with the results of other studies that show that food restriction is one of the few ways to extend life, " said Prof. Klein. Thus, regardless of the increased risk of disease due to the metabolic syndrome, increased adipose tissue in the abdominal cavity could be a life-shortening factor.