Out of Sight

Know thyself. It was the philosophical underpinning of ancient Greek culture.

Know thy fat-a variation on the same theme-has particular application to our times.

There are two kinds of fat lurking beneath your skin. Learning to distinguish between subcutaneous and visceral fat is a vital first step along the path to good health.

Visceral fat gathers around the organs deep inside the abdomen. Subcutaneous fat lies close to the surface, just below the skin.

Knowing what makes them different from each other provides fresh insight into the nature of disease, since many illnesses are associated with visceral fat.

“It has more inflammatory markers than subcutaneous fat,” says Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

“Inflammatory markers are important in the development of diabetes and arthritis. When we examine visceral and subcutaneous fat, we find important biological differences between the t

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