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Intermuscular Fat and Poor Muscle Function

Brian Turner

Posted on April 06 2018

Until recently, physiology experts thought of fat stores as inactive energy depots. Now we know that fat stores help control metabolism and can secrete chemicals that promote disease and disability. Some fat stores are more dangerous than others. Subcutaneous fat, which lies underneath the skin, is less dangerous than fat surrounding the organs and lying within muscle tissue. Intermuscular fat increases with age and is linked to deterioration of metabolic health, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and decreased muscle function. A research review led by Odessa Addison from the University of Maryland School of Medicine concluded that intermuscular fat contributes to the deterioration of aging. Exercise and diet can help reduce intermuscular fat in older adults, which could promote metabolic health. (International Journal Endocrinology: 309570; published online)