Losing belly fat helps improve blood vessel function

Posted at 6:53 AM, Mar 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-14 13:31:02-04

(WTVR) – Researchers have discovered that losing belly fat allows blood vessels to work better.

In a six month study, researchers at John Hopkins found that the more belly fat people lost, the better their arteries were able to expand when needed, allowing more blood to flow more freely.

Researchers studied 60 men and women who weighed an average of 215 pounds at the start of the program. Half of the participants went on a low-carb diet while the others followed a low-fat diet. All took part in moderate exerciseand their diets provided a similar amount of calories each day.

The findings of the study were consistent with early results presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver. That initial report was based on results after participants in the study had lost their first 10 pounds. These longer-term results show that weight loss, along with exercise, is important for improving vascular health, and suggests following a low-card diet rather than the conventionally recommended low-fat diet for weight lossis not a concern in terms of vascular health.

Doctors say being overweight increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease, especially if the fat is in the belly above the waist.