Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Busy Fat Cells

photo by luci
I know, I know. I promised that I would not make any New Years resolutions, and I didn't. Really.

But in the process of getting my daily fix of reading autoimmune-related studies, I am seeing more and more evidence that adipose tissue - meaning fat - is a major contributor to the inflammation that arises from autoimmune disorders.

I am learning more about my
belly that jiggles like a bowlful of jelly, or white adipose tissue. I had always been under the impression that fat cells are merely reservoirs of that extra piece of pecan pie or the large order of McDonald's fries.

Not so.

Ever since 1994 when scientists discovered that fat cells create a substance called leptin, researchers are finding that fat cells are busy busy busy. This illustration from Medscape shows how busy those cells are:

Take this article from Boston University , for instance. This study found that fat cells produce two proteins with different properties:

Fat produces both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins. The right amount of fat protects the body from starvation and infection, but too much fat produces excessive pro-inflammatory proteins. These can induce inflammation that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disorders, according to Walsh. “The fat from lean, healthy people makes large amounts of protective anti-inflammatory proteins such as adiponectin.” “When you’re too fat, the pro-inflammatory proteins win out,’’ he said. “You make lower amounts of adiponectin.’’
How does this relate to my New Years resolution, you ask? Well, I did resolve not to make a resolution. But I also promised to be kind to myself this year. Perhaps being kind to myself should include making a serious attempt to eat foods and incorporating exercise habits that will make me healthier.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely HATE these facts! Don't we have enough on our plate? Must I be responsible for my level of inflammation?

Ugh! Guess I'll have to get out the celery!

You are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Always hated when people make losing weight their new year resolutions because it always fails. And it's not about sticking to a diet or getting a quick fix. It's about totally changing your eating pattern, clearly if the current eating pattern is making you overweight it's not working and so should be completely binned for a new and improved eating plan. An eating plan that should work for the rest of your life not one that should work "until you lost enough weight so that you feel like you can safely go back to the bad eating that made you have to lose weight in the first place". >_< Skip the New Year Resolution ideas they only make you feel bad, just step by step start changing your eating habits. Have a treat ONCE a week so you got something to look forward to but nothing evil in between. Can't be X-mas every day. ; )