Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Scoop on Fat

Ever wonder what a pound of fat looks like in comparison to a pound of lean muscle?  Yea...big difference!


Fat requires a large amount of blood supply in the form of tiny capillaries compared to an equal amount of lean muscle mass which is supplied by larger vessels.  This puts a strain on the cardiovascular system.  
Losing weight is now believed to only shrink the size of the fat cells and for them to become metabolically less active.  Yes, fat is metabolically active.  Fat can make inflammatory agents, not only that, it attracts immune system cells called macrophages which promote inflammation.
Inflammation is now viewed as the key mechanism in heart disease. Most heart attacks aren't caused by blockages but inflamed plaque that breaks off and causes a blood clot.  Which then leads to heart attack or stroke.  
Fat cells also secrete estrogen which is linked to cancer, primarily breast cancer.  So fat is not just a lump that lies on the surface and makes your pant size go up.  
A recent discovery now shows that wear you accumulate your fat has huge implications to health and how it is viewed in the body.  Put simply, fat cells behave differently depending on where they are in the body.  
Fat that's around the butt and thighs isn't as metabolically active.  So it doesn't produce the negative health effects as much.  This also means it's harder to get rid of because it's not as metabolically active.  Fat that accumulates around the organs in the abdomen, called visceral fat, is the opposite.   They are metabolically active and have a high association with diabetes  and produce more inflammation and clot promoting compounds.  The good news is this is the first place you experience fat loss with exercise.  Take home message...get exercising!  Oh and visceral fat isn't going to get removed with liposuction for all those looking for the easy way out! 

3 comments:

Danielle said...

That's seriously disgusting looking.

Jason Ross said...

but you will never forget it!!!!!!!

Jason Ross said...
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