In this new study, researchers looked at what is called "visceral fat" - the fat that surrounds the organs in the gut. Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is not easy to remove surgically. Since they could not take out the fat, the research team decided to analyze the blood that ran through it to determine whether or not visceral fat was somehow involved in inflammation.
'Many years ago, atherosclerosis was thought to be related to lipids and to the excessive deposit of cholesterol in the arteries,' Fontana says. 'Nowadays, it's clear that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease.'