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Having a Big Butt Helps Ward Off Diseases? Oxford and Harvard University Scientists Say ‘Yes’

Tue., Jan. 19, 2010 11:32 PM EDT
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What in the name of Sir Mix-a-Lot is going on in the world of clinical research? Separate scientific studies conducted by two of the world’s most prestigious universities suggest that possessing a protruding posterior may actually be a positive thing.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in England suggest that having extra fat around the butt, hip and thigh region will help in the fight against heart disease. Harvard University is also promoting the thick bottom as a positive attribute when they state that it helps to stave off type 2 diabetes. That means the likes of Serena Williams, Janet Jackson, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez — whose very pronounced assets have been the subject of countless media chatter and ogling — can finally claim the fat in their celebrated cabooses aids their quest for optimum health.

Dr. Konstantinos Manopolous of Oxford explained to Britian’s “BBC News” that “fat in the hips and butt absorbs harmful fatty acids and prevents arteries from clogging,” thereby lowering the risk for heart and metabolic diseases.

In Cambridge, Mass., scientists from Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center believe that the “subcutaneous fat,” the kind found in gluteus maximus, releases “hormones that protect people from type 2 diabetes. The study goes as far as to state that fat in the butt region might even help with weight loss in other parts of the body, says Dr. Ronald Kahn. The Harvard team injected butt fat into research mice’s stomach areas, producing “decreased body weight and total fat mass and lower glucose and insulin levels.” Details of the study were printed in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Both studies issue a stern warning against obesity. They say unequivocally that only the fat in buttocks is good. “Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you,” Manopolous said, “but around the tummy is bad.”

Kahn added that the fat often associated with a “beer belly” is very different from the fat located in a person’s rear. “The surprising thing was that it wasn’t where the fat was located, it was the kind of fat that was the most important variable,” Kahn said. “Even more surprising, it wasn’t that abdominal fat was exerting negative effects, but that subcutaneous fat [from the gluteus maximus] was producing a good effect.

Though more research is needed, Kahn’s excitement is evident. “I think it’s an important result,” he added. “Because not only does it say that not all fat is bad, but I think it points to a special aspect of fat where we need to do more research.”

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