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Obesity is one of the most devastating epidemics in the United States. Being overweight is related to severe health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and strokes. Recently, vitamin C has been linked to lower fat levels, especially in the stomach and abdomen. Understanding the role vitamin C plays in reducing stomach fat will help you better plan your nutrition.
Stomach fat, or abdominal fat, is fatty tissue around or inside the abdominal cavity. Stomach fat can be classified into two categories depending on location. The first is more superficial and is just underneath the skin. The second is around the organs within the abdomen, including the intestines and liver, and is called visceral fat. Visceral fat is more closely linked to severe medical consequences such as heart disease, stroke and breast and colorectal cancer. Excess stomach fat can cause a release of surplus hormones that can raise blood pressure, alter cholesterol levels and reduce insulin use. Reducing stomach fat decreases your risk of these problems.
Vitamin C and Stomach Fat
Adequate vitamin C is essential for proper fat metabolism. Low vitamin C is linked with increased weight and higher waist measurement, EurekAlert reports. Patients with low vitamin C tend to have more stomach fat despite overall weight loss.
Vitamin C is required for production of molecules used in oxidation, or metabolism, of fatty tissue. Without sufficient vitamin C, your body is unable to use stored fat. Your body is still producing fatty tissue for energy, but is unable to use it. This causes a buildup of fat, especially in the abdominal area.
Vitamin C and Exercise
Inadequate vitamin C leads to a decrease in the use of fat during exercise, according to вЂњNutritional Metabolism.вЂќ Even while undergoing strenuous activity, the body is unable to metabolize fat without vitamin C. This may explain why some people do not lose weight despite regular exercise: Those people may be deficient in vitamin C. With sufficient vitamin C, though, you might increase your fat burning potential during exercise by as much as 400 percent.
Vitamin C improves fat loss by approximately 30 percent, according to "Journal of the American College of Nutrition." Twenty percent of American adults don't get enough vitamin C, and are therefore prone to an inability to burn fat. However, by getting adequate levels of vitamin C, you can drastically improve your chances of losing stomach fat.
Facts on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin in most fruits and vegetables. As a water-soluble vitamin, C is not stored in the body and any excess is voided in the urine. That means you need vitamin C daily.
Your body uses vitamin C to repair damaged tissues and initiate the growth of skin, tendons, bones, teeth and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and may play a role in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and arthritis, MedlinePlus notes.