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What is the role of subcutaneous fat? 5 main benefits of subcutaneous fat

Generally, when mentioning “fat,” we tend to associate it with something negative. However, few people know that the layer of fat right under the skin plays extremely important roles in human health and life. Let’s explore “what is the role of subcutaneous fat

What is the role of subcutaneous fat?

  • “What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – The subcutaneous fat layer is a fatty tissue located just below the dermis of the skin. It accounts for about 80% of the body’s total fat. The subcutaneous fat layer has several important functions, such as:
  • Energy storage: This fat layer acts as an energy reserve for the body. When you eat more than necessary, the body converts the excess food into fat (triglycerides) and stores it in the subcutaneous fat layer. In cases of energy deficiency, these fats are mobilized for use, ensuring vital functions.


“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Energy storage

  • Temperature regulation: The subcutaneous fat layer acts as an insulating layer, helping to keep the body warm in cold weather and preventing the body from overheating in sunny conditions.
  • Body protection: The subcutaneous fat cushion helps absorb impacts, protecting bones, muscles, and internal organs from injury.


“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Body protection

Hormone production: The subcutaneous fat layer contributes to the production of several important hormones, most notably leptin. Leptin plays a role in regulating hunger and satiety, signaling the brain when the body has enough energy.


“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Hormone production

Functions of subcutaneous fat

Not all fats are the same. Besides white fat, our bodies also contain brown fat and beige fat. “What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – The subcutaneous fat layer is primarily white fat, which is important for energy storage and hormone production. Brown and beige fats are mainly distributed in other areas, with their primary function being heat generation and involvement in energy metabolism.

Importance of subcutaneous fat

“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Healthy subcutaneous fat is essential for overall health. Problems arise only when the amount of subcutaneous fat is too much or too little. Low levels of subcutaneous fat can lead to issues such as: feeling cold easily, increased risk of injury, hormonal imbalances, etc. Conversely, when this fat layer is too thick (overweight, obesity), it increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc.

Safe reduction of subcutaneous fat

If you want to reduce subcutaneous fat, choose scientific and sustainable methods such as adjusting to a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Avoid unsafe methods, rapid fat reduction that leads to long-term health consequences.

Here are 5 questions related to “what is the role of subcutaneous fat“:

Question 1: How can I know if my subcutaneous fat level is healthy?

Answer: There are several ways to estimate the amount of subcutaneous fat, but for the most accurate results, you should consult a nutritionist or doctor. Common methods include:

  • Skinfold thickness measurement: This method uses a device called a caliper to measure the thickness of skinfolds at several body locations.
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA): This method uses a small electrical current passing through the body to estimate the amount of fat, muscle, and water.
  • Body mass index (BMI): This is a popular but less accurate tool, helping to assess overweight/obesity levels, not directly measuring subcutaneous fat.

Question 2: Does the distribution of subcutaneous fat affect health?

Answer: “What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Yes, where subcutaneous fat accumulates also plays an important role. Visceral fat (fat around internal organs) is associated with a higher risk of metabolic diseases compared to subcutaneous fat. The “apple-shaped” body – fat concentrated in the abdomen – often signals a higher health risk compared to the “pear-shaped” body – fat primarily accumulated in the hips and thighs.

Question 3: Can subcutaneous fat be reduced in a specific area?

Answer: Unfortunately, spot reduction is not possible. When we lose fat, the process occurs throughout the body, not concentrated in one specific area. To reduce fat in a particular area, you need to combine overall body fat reduction through diet and exercise with targeted muscle strengthening exercises for the desired area.

Question 4: Is subcutaneous fat related to cellulite (orange peel skin)?

Answer: Cellulite appears due to the connection between fiber bundles under the skin pulling the fat down, while the skin is pulled up, creating dimples. The amount of subcutaneous fat and genetic factors play a decisive role in the appearance of cellulite. Even very thin people can have cellulite.

Question 5: Do only overweight and obese people have a lot of subcutaneous fat?

Answer: This is not accurate. Even thin people have a certain amount of subcutaneous fat to perform its important functions. However, overweight or obese people usually have a thicker subcutaneous fat layer than the body needs.

Here is some scientific evidence related to “what is the role of subcutaneous fat“:

  1. Energy storage and regulation:

“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – A study published in the journal “Obesity” showed that subcutaneous fat plays a crucial role in energy storage and regulation. The study found that people with higher amounts of subcutaneous fat had better blood sugar stability and were less insulin-resistant.

  1. Body temperature regulation:

“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – A research article published in the journal “Physiology & Behavior” demonstrated the role of subcutaneous fat in regulating body temperature. The study involved exposing participants to different temperatures and measuring their body’s response. The results showed that subcutaneous fat acts as an insulator, helping to maintain body temperature in both cold and hot environments.

  1. Protection and cushioning:

“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – A study published in the journal “Accident Analysis & Prevention” investigated the protective role of subcutaneous fat. The study analyzed data from various injuries and found that thicker subcutaneous fat layers were associated with reduced risk of severe injuries, especially in falls and impacts.

  1. Hormone production:

A research article published in “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism” explored the hormone production function of subcutaneous fat. The study found that subcutaneous fat cells produce leptin, a hormone signaling satiety and regulating food intake. Leptin plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity.

  1. Immune function:

A study published in the journal “Frontiers in Immunology” investigated the link between subcutaneous fat and immune function. The study showed that subcutaneous fat tissue contains immune cells that play a role in fighting infections and regulating inflammation. This suggests that subcutaneous fat may contribute to overall immune health.

“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – These studies provide scientific evidence supporting the various roles of subcutaneous fat in maintaining overall health and well-being. Subcutaneous fat is not just a storage site for excess energy; it actively contributes to energy regulation, temperature control, protection, hormone production, and immune function. Understanding these roles emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy subcutaneous fat levels for overall health.


“What is the role of subcutaneous fat?” – Subcutaneous fat is not simply a storage layer causing aesthetic issues, but it also performs many essential roles for the body. Instead of obsessing over weight and fat reduction, focus on building a healthy lifestyle to maintain balanced body fat levels, thereby achieving comprehensive and enduring health.





Kiểm Duyệt Nội Dung

Ban Biên Tập | Website

More than 10 years of marketing communications experience in the medical and health field.

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