Is Fat Around The Arteries Good For Heart? Here's What Researchers Say

Researchers have found that some fat around the arteries is actually good for your blood vessels and heart health.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Feb 25, 2020 09:15 IST
Is Fat Around The Arteries Good For Heart? Here's What Researchers Say

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Fat is considered to be bad for health as it gets deposited around the body and affect the functioning. But a recent study has something contrary to say. As per this study published in the science journal 'Scientific Reports', fat around the arteries is good for health. Researchers have discovered that fat around the arteries may be great in keeping the health of blood vessels.

PVAT or Perivascular Adipose Tissue is the fat that gets deposited around the arteries. Scientists believe that this may release muscular tension on the arteries despite constant pressure. This phenomenon is called 'stress relax'. This process is nearly similar to the bladder function where the organ expands to take in more liquid while preventing it from spilling out.

fat around arteries

Stephanie Watts, Professor, Michigan State University, USA said: "In our study, PVAT reduced the tension that blood vessels experience when stretched, and that’s a good thing because the vessel then expends less energy. It’s not under as much stress,”

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This research can prove to be a great help in the treatment of atherosclerosis or plaque formations on the arteries which may lead to heart attacks. Talking about this research, Watts said, "PVAT has largely been ignored by researchers who have thought its main job was to store lipids and do little more as scientists divide the blood vessels into three parts only but don't consider PVAT as the fourth layer."


Some researchers found that PVAT helps in regulating the functions of blood vessels as it releases substances one of which helps the vessels relax while the other one causes contraction of the blood vessels. But Watts and the team wanted to find if PVAT itself can have an impact on the functioning of blood vessels by providing stress relaxation.

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They conducted this test on rats and found that rats with intact PVAT layers were more relaxed as compared to others. “So, this tells us, it’s not just a one-off, it’s not something you see only in this particular vessel or this particular species or this particular strain. But that maybe it’s a general phenomenon,” Stephanie Watts said.

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