Is fat good? Study shows cellulite can help protect you from disease

This interesting study doesn't recommend that we all gain weight on purpose, but it does show that thigh fat might help prevent strokes and dementia. Here are all the details.

Cellulite can protect you from disease, new research shows. (photo credit: PEXELS)
Cellulite can protect you from disease, new research shows.
(photo credit: PEXELS)

Female and male bodies each have the same set of (most) organs, but a person's shape varies depending on the level and percentage of fat in each and everybody. Some people have wide hips or thighs, others may have belly fat, some may have cellulite, others may be thin, some have thick arms and others big legs. 

A new study recently revealed how extra fat on the thighs and cellulite may actually be good for your health. 

This is in stark contrast to the common belief that excess fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke or coronary artery disease.

According to experts from Georgia in the US, women who accumulate fat around their hips, thighs and buttocks are better protected against stroke and dementia. In a study published in the journal Diabetes, experts found that subcutaneous (beneath skin) fat that causes cellulite may offer protection against inflammation-related disorders.

Tests on mice indicated that this subcutaneous fat protects against inflammation-related disorders, including heart disease. Researchers discovered that female mice with high levels of this type of fat have lower levels of brain inflammation than male mice. When the females underwent liposuction, i.e. the fat was sucked out, their inflammation levels increased.

 Woman working out (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS) Woman working out (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS)

How could fat protect from diseases?

Experts aren't sure why subcutaneous fat seems to have protective properties, but previous studies have linked it to the sex hormone estrogen which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. 

It's important to clarify that the study doesn't suggest that women should gain weight on purpose because many studies show that obesity can increase the risk of chronic conditions such as dementia, stroke and heart disease. 

You can definitely relax when you see your thighs jiggle, though.