We all know that our fat cells tend to grow faster than we’d like, right?
But did you know that your fat cells are:
- An endocrine organ
- Host a whole array of active hormones, proteins and active cells
- Can stimulate chronic inflammation in the body
- And can drive you to eat more food?
I bet you didn’t so let’s get to know all about fat cells because it’s not as simple as counting calories or points, it’s far more involved than that and personally I find fat cells pretty fascinating!
If you prefer to read, here is some info on fat cells.
Fat cells are actually an endocrine organ
In scientific terms fat cells are also know as adipocytes and collectively fat cells are called adipose tissue. Adipocytes that were once considered dormant are now recognised as an active endocrine organ, particularly white adipose tissue. Adipocytes help regulate many physiological and pathological processes and maintain biological homeostasis (balance), including immunity and inflammation.
Fat cells can stimulate chronic inflammation in the body
Adipocytes can increase in number of fat cells (hyperplasia), and increase in size (hypertrophy). During the process of hyperplasia and hypertrophy immunity is altered and adipose tissue produces and secretes various cytokines and adipokines. These are chemical messengers, hormones and proteins that communicate with other organs in the body. Adipokines facilitate various responses throughout the body but unfortunaltely most cytokines and adipokines are proinflammatory and contribute to low-grade systemic inflammation. Our metabolic and immune systems are intricately connected and these alterations that occur in our metabolism are the major contribution to development of modern metabolic and non-comminicable such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and so forth.
Why do fat cells cause inflammation?
The mechanisms aren’t entirely clear but so far the theories that scientists have include:
• Overload of nutrients inducing stress inside cells
• Excessive nutrients causing accumulated proteins in cells
• Adipocytyes get overloaded with fat allowing immunce cells to infiltrate
• As adipocytes enlarge it causes a lack of oxygen reaching body tissues
• Adipocytes may directly activate immunity and ignite inflammation
Fat cells can drive you to eat more food
If you’re wondering why you have difficulty staying away from food I can guarantee it’s not just your willpower. We have some powerful hormones in our fat cells that drive our appetite and behaviour! Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Nutrition & Health Coach