25 Jul BodyLogic DXA – Body Fat Analysis
Visceral Adipose Tissue — What is the big fat deal?
There is tremendous buzz about visceral fat and whole body composition, and for good reason. Diabetes and obesity are at epidemic levels in this country and the population is slowly waking up to the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to decrease our fat levels and avoid the associated complications. More importantly, there is significant evidence pointing towards the importance of measuring visceral adipose tissue (VAT). There is a strong correlation of VAT to diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, dementia and depression.
Visceral fat is the fat surrounding your internal organs. It has a slightly different composition than the fat you find on your hips. Visceral fat is pro-inflammatory and interferes with hormones that regulate appetite, weight, mood and brain function. Visceral fat is closely associated with a high carbohydrate diet, and not surprisingly, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Whether you are an elite athlete or just someone who wants to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle, measuring fat levels has become popular. There are a plethora of ways to do body fat analysis, including: skin calipers, bioelectrical impedance, hydrostatic weighing, and air-displacement plethysmography. But the gold standard in measuring fat is the BodyLogic DXA. This is the only technology that uses the four compartment molecular model (fat, protein, mineral, water) of body composition. A detailed measurement of the arms, legs, torso, hips and abdomen are given. In addition, visual images show the precise location of bone, lean mass, and fat mass. Of essence, only the BodyLogic DXA is capable of measuring visceral fat accurately.
An interesting phenomenon found in obtaining the VAT score is that often the VAT does not correlate to the patient’s size. We call these people “Skinny Fats.” My typical skinny fat patient is in petite Asian female who has a VAT score that is exceedingly high. But I have also seen very high VAT scores in thin 6‘2” men.
I find the body logic DXA a very useful tool and managing my patients. If a patient is pre-diabetic but resistant to medications or lifestyle changes, I will do a BodyLogic DXA on them. Most of the time it confirms that they are at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Whether you are an elite athlete or just someone who has become health-conscious, I strongly recommend the BodyLogic DXA to help you make wise choices.