Most people have no idea that they have a physical organ in their belly that is responsible for storing fat.
Measuring approximately 14 inches in length and 10 inches in width, this layer of fatty tissue is called the omentum.
This “belly fat bag” is a slow motion regulator of bodily processes. Rather firm to the touch (not soft and marshmallowly as one might expect), it is positioned in front of the intestines, sits underneath the stomach muscles and hangs down like an apron inside the abdomen. The lower edge of this fatty mass goes down near the pelvis in the lower abdominal area while its upper edge is attached to the transverse colon which is located just below the stomach.
As one of the main fat reservoirs in the body the omentum varies greatly in size depending on how much fat has accumulated within it. If you are lean, with a healthy ratio of muscle to fat in your body, your omentum will be quite thin and not noticeable. It’s appearance can be compared to panty hose with wide webbing.
However, if you begin to become overweight this organ grows larger as globules of fat fill up the spaces of the webbing. When it begins to clog with fat, it becomes bunched up and clumped – an excessively large omentum becomes a ticking time bomb, releasing dangerous inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream.
A number of these powerful chemicals actively disrupt the body’s metabolism and promote inflammation. These chemicals harm organs and tissues in the abdomen and set the stage for killer diseases to take root.
Until recently, the omentum had been thought to be relatively inert tissue. But science is slowly revealing it’s secrets, showing that it is actually dynamic tissue having many functions other than just the storage of fat. The omentum also provides both protective cushioning and structural integrity (acts as a kind of glue) for our internal organs.
Whether you are male or female, a consequence of excess belly fat is the production of excess female hormone estrogen – bad news for men concerned that the female hormones may override his “manly” master hormone testosterone. This high level of estrogen in an overweight male will change his body from firm and muscular to flabby and soft. Add in fatigue, grumpiness and even depression.
Females will also suffer from too much estrogen – everything from irritating, discomforting problems to massive intrusive conditions such as breast cancer.
Just because an overweight belly causes health issues is no reason to label the omentum as evil. The omentum contains stem cells and is full of nutrients and hormones that stimulate both growth and repair. The problem only arises when people have more protective cushioning than they need and much more than is healthy for them.
Bottom line is this:
This essential organ can be the source of terrible problems for us if we mistreat it. Research reveals that an extra large belly is more than an object to poke fun at. It’s dangerous to one’s health and longevity. It causes it’s victims to age at a premature and accelerated rate.
Don’t demonize the omentum, a healthy omentum plays an important role in overall disease protection. It attacks and seals off infections in the abdomen so they can do no harm to the delicate internal organs. A healthy omentum is a good thing!
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