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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The accumulation of visceral adipose tissue may be influenced by intra-abdominal temperature.

Despite the established link between visceral obesity and major chronic diseases, little is known about physiologic factors that directly and specifically lead to the accumulation of visceral fat. I hypothesize that reduced intra-abdominal temperature might be a physical factor underlying the partitioning of adipose tissue to the intra-abdominal region rather than the periphery. The hypothesis is supported by biochemical reports that rat and bovine lipoprotein lipase have increased activity when incubated at lower temperatures. Persons exercising in cool water have been found to preserve subcutaneous fat whereas comparable exercise without local cooling results in subcutaneous fat loss. Pima Indians, a group that commonly acquires extreme levels of visceral fat, have been found to have lower intra-abdominal temperatures during sleep than weight-matched European-Americans. In a study of four young men and four young women, I have noted that mean intra-abdominal basal temperatures were higher for women than men (36.51 +/- 0.18 degrees C vs. 35.91 +/- 0.11 degrees C; p = .0014). Since the men are more likely to acquire visceral obesity at later age, this also provides support for my hypothesis. Investigators might wish to examine further the temperature dependence of adipose-tissue lipoprotein lipase, the temperature variation between sites of adipose tissue, and the effects of foods, physical activities, smoking and drugs on localized body temperature.[1]


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