Stories

An apron of fat is the body's first line of defense

The omentum — an elastic apron of fat that stretches over our intestines, liver and stomach — may hold the key to battling obesity and cancer cell growth while simultaneously serving as the body's first line of defense against deadly toxins and infection, researchers are discovering.

Key functions:

  • The omentum secretes hormones related to obesity and collects information about the health of the abdomen. However, scientists are still struggling to understand how this apron of fat is related to obesity as it serves in its protector role.
  • It also appears to serve as the first stop inside our body for cells, antigens and bacteria before our immune system jumps into action by, for instance, releasing inflammatory molecules.