Research briefs: Blood test to measure visceral fat

A patient's visceral fat level could be measured with a simple blood test, US and German research has shown. In a study of 196 people, it was shown that levels of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) were about 60-fold higher in those with high levels of fat around abdominal organs than in those who were viscerally lean. In contrast, people who were obese and carried lots of subcutaneous fat had just a 12-fold increase in RBP4 (Cell Metabolism 2007; 6: 79-87). 

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