A study of physicochemical properties of subcutaneous fat of the abdomen and its implication in abdominal obesity

Arvind Kumar Pandey, Pramod Kumar, Srinivas Aithal Kodavoor, Sushma Rama Kotian, Sudhakar Narahari Yathdaka, Dayanand Nayak, Anne D. Souza, Antony Sylvan D. Souza

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Introduction: The lower abdominal obesity is more resistant to absorption as compared to that of upper abdomen. Differences in the physicochemical properties of the subcutaneous fat of the upper and lower abdomen may be responsible for this variation. There is paucity of the scientific literature on the physicochemical properties of the subcutaneous fat of abdomen. Aim: The present study was undertaken to create a database of physicochemical properties of abdominal subcutaneous fat. Materials and Methods: The samples of subcutaneous fat from upper and lower abdomen were collected from 40 fresh autopsied bodies (males 33, females 7). The samples were prepared for physicochemical analysis using organic and inorganic solvents. Various physicochemical properties of the fat samples analysed were surface tension, viscosity, specific gravity, specific conductivity, iodine value and thermal properties. Data was analysed by paired and independent sample t-tests. Results: There was a statistically significant difference in all the physicochemical parameters between males and females except surface tension (organic) and surface tension (inorganic) of upper abdominal fat, and surface tension (organic) of lower abdominal fat. In males, viscosity of upper abdominal fat was more compared to that of lower abdomen (both organic and inorganic) unlike the specific conductivity that was higher for the lower abdominal fat as compared to that of the upper abdomen. In females there were statistically significant higher values of surface tension (inorganic) and specific gravity (organic) of the upper abdomen fat as compared to that of lower abdomen. The initial and final weight loss of the lower abdominal fat as indicated by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis was significantly more in males than in female Conclusion: The difference in the physicochemical properties of subcutaneous fat between upper and lower abdomen and between males and females could be responsible for the variant behaviour of subcutaneous abdominal fat towards resorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)OC48-OC51
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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