How long does it take before visceral fat causes damage?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 23, 2013 at 7:15 PM

How long does it take before having (any amount) of visceral fat cause damage to organs? if someone had too much visceral fat for "only a short amount of time" is it enough to cause damage? a few months? A few years? Does the damage linger even after the person loses the visceral fat?

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on January 23, 2013
at 07:36 PM

I would imagine a couple of years...

I say this because when I think about an evolutionary scenario, it seems plausible that our ancestors might have loaded up on fruits during summer, which theoretically would have given them visceral fat (especially fatty livers), which they would have "burned off" during winter, when natural sugars were very scarce and they were eating more animal muscle, fat, and organs.

So, short-term visceral fat might have had a kind of environmental advantage -- those who had built up more of those fat stores might have had an easier time surviving the long, carb-scarce winters. Maybe it's only a problem in our modern times because we never face those times of scarcity. It's endless summer all year long, so our bodies never have a chance (or the need) to rid themselves of that built up fat -- unless you change your diet and lifestyle, of course, to an internal environment where you either don't build up that fat in the first place, or eat seasonally, build up a little of it, and then use it up naturally when those foods are out of season.

ETA: I'm no expert on foie gras, but I've heard this is what happens with migrating ducks & geese -- they fatten themselves naturally for a while before their long treks southward, and they end up using that "fuel." (Unrelated to force-feeding ducks for foie gras, I realize...just using the example of fattening the liver as a natural process b/c the fat would serve a purpose later on.)

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