Your Body-Fat Wants to Kill You

love-handles-vs-visceral-fat

Researchers know that your body-fat is not simply a storage place for excess calories, but is in fact an active tissue that secretes multiple compounds.

It communicates with other tissues, including the liver, muscles, pancreas and the brain.

In a “normal” person, communication between body-fat and other body tissues helps to optimize metabolism keep body weight stable.

However, in obese individuals:

  • Fat cells become stressed as they over-grow in order to store the increasing amounts of fat
  • This excessive cell growth may cause decreased oxygen delivery into the tissue;
  • Individual cells may die (at least in mouse models),
  • And fat tissue inflammation ensues.

This leads to mis-communication between fat cells and the other body tissues responsible for metabolism.

And this mis-communication leads to lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Science

To understand this cellular mis-communication better, the researchers began by collecting fat samples from people undergoing abdominal surgery.

Utilizing their giant brains, the scientists were able to identify a signalling pathway that is operational in intra-abdominal or belly fat.

They compared this signalling pathway with the pathways found in samples collected from:

  • lean individuals
  • and subjects whose body-fat was classified as peripheral or subcutaneous.

The researchers discovered that the signaling pathway was more active depending on the amount of fat accumulation in the abdomen, and that it correlated with multiple biochemical markers for increased cardio-metabolic risk.

peripheral fat

Moreover, the expression of one of the upstream signaling components, a protein called ASK1, predicts whole-body insulin resistance (an endocrine abnormality that is strongly tied to diabetes and cardiovascular disease), independent of other traditional risk factors.

Researchers also demonstrated that although non-fat cells within adipose tissue express most of this protein in lean persons, the adipocytes themselves increase its expression by more than four-fold in abdominally-obese persons.

Conclusion

In lean persons, a normal cellular signaling process works as nature designed.

In obese persons, that signaling process is all screwed up and often leads to insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

homer heart attack

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6 comments

  1. Hello I am having major issues with my body fat. I know alot of women and doctors ive seen have said women kill for this but in my case this is serious and scary to me and is getting worse since there has been no diagnosis. I have been getting tested for cancers etc and had MRI, CT scans etc and nothing has shown abnormalties for a year now. I am having some major fat loss in my extremities and torso and face (temples) with dizziness, insomnia, headaches sometimes, muscle aches, major back pain, and sometimes imbalance. I have had a head mri for my pitituary gland and there arent tumors or anything. My thyroid was maybe off a little but nothing to worry the doctors. I do have fibroid and PCOS and have high testosterone and now its showing slight elevation. So do you have any ideas of what could cause fat loss it is getting so bad that you could literally see my bones in my joints and I my arms and legs are so thin now that I look like I weigh 100 pounds and I naturally weigh 134 with no weight loss at all.

  2. Hi Lekeya,

    First off, I just want to remind you that I am not a doctor. I am a personal trainer.

    (BTW, I can’t believe that a doc told you that you were lucky because most women would kill for this…what is this? the 1950s?)

    With that being said, whenever I have seen large changes in body composition, it has always involved hormonal change as well. Hormones affecting brain chemistry or vice versa.

    So, if you were my client/friend, I would send you off to another/better doctor to get all of the hormones I list in this article checked.

    I also wonder if it’s just body-fat you;re losing. Are you losing muscle mass as well? If that is the case, then you need to push your doc for blood tests related to any disorder that causes muscle wasting

    It’s good that you’re being proactive about this. No one can know your body like you do.

    Try not to get too worked up about this in front of the doctors. In my experience, docs tend to ignore patients that they deem to be irrational. Try and stay unemotional and present your concerns in a calm and dispassionate manner..like you’re a lawyer presenting a case. And if you can, bring someone with you to the appointments who is also going to stay calm. Make it someone who you know is going to support you and stand up to the doctor.It’s hard to always be strong when it’s your health the doc is talking about. Having a person with you who is going to advocate on your behalf is invaluable

    A few years ago, my wife lost a bunch of weight due to a very slightly elevated thyroid. The docs said that her numbers were still in the normal range. My questions at the time was what is normal? What were her numbers before the change? Eventually, with dietary & lifestyle change, things slowly went back to normal. Lucky

    If it is thyroid, your numbers may be naturally on the low end of the scale. That works for you. If they elevate but still stay in the normal range, the doc is going to say that nothing is wrong and send you on your way.

    A great source of info for your research is Dr. Christine Northrup – here is her site

    Good luck – my prayers are with you

  3. Thanks for responding. I dont think that there is any muscle wasting at all. Do you have a personal email?

  4. good day sir i wanted to use the workout uve been posted but i cant seem to find the week 1 day 1. where can i find it? thank you

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