Exercise and Belly Fat: The Role of Interleukin-6 in Reducing Visceral Fat

2023-08-17 05:38:52

Probably, many of you have decided to start going to the fitness center in order to get rid of that terrible belly fat.

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774 discoveries

Abdominal fat increases the risk of not only cardiometabolic disorders, but also dementia and sudden death. Physical activity shrinks the visceral fat fibers surrounding the internal organs in the abdominal region, but the mechanisms behind this effect have not been fully understood.

Some scientists have suggested that the hormone epinephrine, known as “fight or flight”, provides this effect, but Anna-Sophia Wedel-Nier-Gaard and author of another study, Helga Ellingsgaard, both from the University of Copenhagen, suspected that a role in this plays interleukin-6, as it regulates energy metabolism, stimulating the breakdown of fats in healthy people, and is released by skeletal muscles during physical work.

To test this hypothesis, scientists conducted a 12-week experiment involving 53 overweight adults.


Participants were divided into four groups who were given intravenous injections of either Tocilizumab (an interleukin-6 blocking drug currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis) or saline as a placebo every 4 weeks, all in combination with or with 45-minute sessions work on a stationary bike a week, or a complete lack of training.

Using the method of magnetic resonance, scientists estimated the mass of visceral fat at the beginning of the experiment and at the end. They reported the results of the experiment in a journal. Cell Metabolism.


In the placebo group (saline and exercise), visceral fat mass was reduced by an average of 225 grams (or 8%) compared to the passive group, in the Tocilizumab plus exercise group, this was not observed.

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In the exercise groups, Tocilizumab also increased fat levels by approximately 278 grams compared to the placebo groups.

In addition, it raised both total and bad (low-density) cholesterol levels compared to placebo in both trained and non-trained groups.


“We believe this is the first study to show that interleukin-6 plays a physiological role in the regulation of visceral fat mass in humans,” said Wedel-Nieer-Gaard.

“The advice is simple: exercise,” she added. “We know about the health benefits of exercise, and now we know that exercise reduces belly fat and thus protects us from the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”

The authors of the study note that the experiments were observational and did not include clinical trials of the drug.

Complicating the issue is that interleukin-6 can produce the opposite of inflammatory effects, depending on the context.

For example, chronically elevated levels of interleukin-6 have been observed in patients with significant obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

“Signaling mechanisms in immune cells differ from those in muscle cells, which is expressed in pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory actions. Therefore, interleukin-6 can act differently in healthy and sick people,” Wedel-Nieer-Gaard explained.

In future studies, scientists will explore the possible effects of interleukin-6 on fats or carbohydrates for energy generation under certain conditions.

In addition, they intend to find out whether interleukin-6 in the form of injections can reduce visceral fat mass on its own. “To understand the role of interleukin-6 and its application, we need more detailed studies,” – said the head of the experiment.

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In conclusion, the scientists gave practical advice. “It is important to emphasize that if you start exercising regularly, you can increase your body weight at the expense of muscle mass, so in addition to the usual weighing, it would be nice to track your body fat levels and fuel your motivation for further training.”

#workouts #remove #fat #abdomen #Oftop #vc.ru

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