August 7, 2023

Is body fat percentage one of the keys to a longer health-span?

The Link Between Lower Body Fat Percentage and Longevity: Scientific Evidence

Is body fat percentage one of the keys to a longer health-span?

The global longevity and anti-senescence therapy market size is projected to reach $44.2 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2021 to 2030 [1]. We've all heard the saying, "health is wealth," and when it comes to longevity, this couldn't be truer.

While genetics undoubtedly play a role in determining our life- and health- spans, emerging scientific evidence suggests that one's body fat percentage might also be a critical factor in determining how long we live. Several studies have pointed to the association between lower body fat percentage and increased longevity, and in this blog post, we'll explore the key findings that support this connection.

1. Cardiovascular Health: Excessive body fat, especially around the abdomen, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. In contrast, individuals with lower body fat percentages tend to have healthier cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improved heart function, all of which contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular events [2][3].

2. Insulin Sensitivity: Maintaining a lower body fat percentage can enhance insulin sensitivity, which is crucial for glucose regulation in the body. Insulin sensitivity helps to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders [4].

3. Inflammation Reduction: Adipose tissue, or fat cells, are known to produce inflammatory molecules. Higher body fat percentages are associated with increased levels of these inflammatory markers, which can contribute to chronic inflammation and various age-related diseases. On the other hand, individuals with lower body fat percentages tend to have reduced levels of inflammatory markers [5].

4. Cellular Aging: Research has shown that higher body fat percentages are associated with accelerated cellular aging, as measured by telomere length. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of chromosomes, and their shortening over time is associated with aging. Lower body fat percentages appear to slow down this shortening process, potentially leading to a longer and healthier lifespan [6].

5. Improved Physical Function: Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is crucial for overall physical function and mobility. Lower body fat levels can reduce the strain on joints and muscles, leading to better movement and increased independence in daily activities, even as we age [7].

It is important to note that while a lower body fat percentage is associated with longevity, the key is to achieve a healthy balance. Extremely low body fat percentages, especially when achieved through extreme dieting or excessive exercise, can have detrimental effects on overall health. The goal is to achieve a healthy body fat percentage through a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and a sustainable lifestyle.

In conclusion, scientific evidence suggests that maintaining a lower body fat percentage can contribute to increased longevity and a healthier life. By prioritizing cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, inflammation reduction, cellular health, and physical function, we can improve our chances of living a longer and more fulfilling life.


  1. Longevity and Anti-senescence Therapy Market: Global Opportunity Analysis
  2. Després, J. P. (2012). Body fat distribution and risk of cardiovascular disease: an update. Circulation, 126(10), 1301-1313.
  3. Yusuf, S., Hawken, S., Ôunpuu, S., Bautista, L., Franzosi, M. G., Commerford, P., ... & Zambon, A. (2005). Obesity and the risk of myocardial infarction in 27,000 participants from 52 countries: a case-control study. The Lancet, 366(9497), 1640-1649.
  4. Goodpaster, B. H., Katsiaras, A., Kelley, D. E., & DeLany, J. P. (2003). Enhanced fat oxidation through physical activity is associated with improvements in insulin sensitivity in obesity. Diabetes, 52(9), 2191-2197.
  5. Cancello, R., Henegar, C., Viguerie, N., Taleb, S., Poitou, C., Rouault, C., ... & Zucker, J. D. (2005). Reduction of macrophage infiltration and chemoattractant gene expression changes in white adipose tissue of morbidly obese subjects after surgery-induced weight loss. Diabetes, 54(8), 2277-2286.
  6. Kim, S., Parks, C. G., DeRoo, L. A., Chen, H., Taylor, J. A., Cawthon, R. M., & Sandler, D. P. (2009). Obesity and weight gain in adulthood and telomere length. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 18(3), 816-820.
  7. Shea, M. K., Nicklas, B. J., Houston, D. K., Miller, G. D., Davis, C. C., Kitzman, D. W., ... & Kritchevsky, S. B. (2009). The effect of intentional weight loss on all-cause mortality in older adults: results of a randomized controlled weight-loss trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(4), 1011-1016.