Here's how exercising helps in reducing belly fat

Updated:1 month, 2 weeks ago IST

New Delhi, Dec 29 (ANI): According to a recent study, a signalling molecule called interleukin-6 plays a critical role in reducing belly fat. The study was published in the journal 'Cell Metabolism'. A 12-week intervention consisting of bicycle exercise decreased visceral abdominal fat in obese adults. But remarkably, this effect was abolished in participants who were also treated with tocilizumab, a drug that blocks interleukin-6 signalling and is currently approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, tocilizumab treatment increased cholesterol levels regardless of physical activity. Abdominal fat is associated with an increased risk of not only cardio-metabolic disease, but also cancer, dementia, and all-cause mortality. Physical activity reduces visceral fat tissue, which surrounds internal organs in the abdominal cavity. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to assess visceral fat tissue mass at the beginning and end of the study. In the placebo groups, exercise reduced visceral fat tissue mass by an average of 225 grams, or 8 per cent, compared with no exercise. But tocilizumab treatment eliminated this effect. In the exercise groups, tocilizumab also increased visceral fat tissue mass by approximately 278 grams compared with placebo. In addition, tocilizumab increased total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol compared with placebo, in both the exercise and no-exercise groups. So, in addition to measuring your overall body weight, it would be useful, and maybe more importantly, to measure waist circumference to keep track of the loss of visceral fat mass and to stay motivated," the authors stated.

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