Visceral fat is a byword for bad news because unlike subcutaneous fat, which sits just under the surface, visceral fat lies close to internal organs such as the liver and intestines. As a result, a build up of belly fat can lead to potentially irreversible health conditions, such as heart disease. Reducing harmful belly fat could therefore mean the difference between life or death so it is important to keep on top of it.
Banishing the harmful belly fat requires a multi-pronged approach and evidence suggests taking natural dietary supplements can form one part of the puzzle.
Essential nutrients found in fish oil supplements for example, have been shown to reduce visceral fat in several studies.
Omega-3 fats are a group of unsaturated fats that are naturally found in oily fish.
It is well understood that omega-3 fats play a key role in boosting heart health, but evidence has also found them to be a potent weapon against visceral fat.
READ MORE: How to get rid of visceral fat: The eating pattern proven to reduce the harmful belly fat
Other supplements shown to attack visceral fat
Probiotic supplements have also been proven to reduce harmful belly fat in several studies.
Studies have shown that some probiotic bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, such as Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus, and especially Lactobacillus gasseri, may help you lose visceral fat.
For example, a study in 210 healthy Japanese adults investigated the effects of taking Lactobacillus gasseri over a 12-week period.
It found that people who took Lactobacillus gasseri lost 8.5 percent visceral fat. However, as soon as participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained all of the visceral fat back within a month.
In addition, probiotics may help promote higher levels of GLP-1, a fullness hormone, and ANGPTL4, a protein that may help reduce fat storage, notes research.
One study attributes the benefits to reducing dietary fat absorption in the gut, increasing how much of it you excrete in faeces.
Other ways to combat visceral fat
According to Harvard Health, no approach is complete without engaging in regular exercise.
Specifically, the health body recommends engaging in regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat.