Anatomy of fat

Anatomy of fat:

Under a microscope, fat cells look like bulbous little spheres. Like other cells in the body, each has a cell membrane and a nucleus, but their bulk is made up of droplets of stored triglycerides, each of which consists of three fatty-acid molecules attached to a single glycerol molecule.

White fat is the main substance used for energy storage. When insulin levels go up, after a meal, white adipocytes take in more fatty acids, literally swelling in size. When insulin drops, fat cells release their stores as a source of quick energy for the body.

Other clusters of adipocytes are used mostly for support, such as the cushion of fat that surrounds the eyes, according to a 2006 paper in the journal nature. These fat cells probably don’t release a lot of energy into the body unless the organism enters starvation mode.

The body also stores fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat) and around the internal organs (visceral fat)

Brown fat cells on the other hand, are iron rich cells with their own unique function. They express genes that alter metabolism to produce heat, making brown adipose tissue is important for maintain body temperature. Specifically, brown fat cells release something called uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1), which makes the process of fatty-acid oxidation in the cells powerhouse (the mitochondria ) less efficient. That means more of the energy the mitochondria process is “wasted” as heat, this warming the body, according to a 2017 paper in the journal endocrine connections.

A third type of fat “beige fat” is found in white adipose tissue, but unlike white-fat cells, these cells contain UPC-1. Beige fat cells seem to have the flexibility to act like either white fat or brown fat, depending on the situation, according to the endocrine connections paper.

Beige fat looks and acts like a cross between white and brow fat, but research suggests that beige fat is its own unique call type, rather than a midpoint on the white-to-brown spectrum. Research does also suggest that white fat can convert into beige fat.

Subcutaneous fat:

Subcutaneous fat is a layer of fat found right underneath our skin. About 90 percent of fat in our body is in the form of subcutaneous fat. A combination of white, beige and brow fat and a certain amount of subcutaneous fat is healthy. But, again, too much of the white variety can spell trouble by throwing off hormone levels and sensitivity.

The most common method of measuring subcutaneous fat levels is a skin -fold test in which a professional pinch your fat with callipers. It’s not exactly fun, but it’s not painful, and many gyms and healthcare professionals are trained to perform the tests.

Visceral fat is white fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity around a number of organs such as the liver, pancreas, heart and intestines rather that right under your skin like subcutaneous fat. Researchers have found that visceral fat secretes a protein called retinol-building protein 4, which has been shown to increase resistance to insulin, leading to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. High visceral fat storage has also been liked to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

While visceral fat responds to the rules of caloric balance, just like subcutaneous fat does , research shows that it’s particularly sensitive to the inflammatory effects of processed foods. Meanwhile evidence shows that a diet rich in unrefined foods, protein, unsaturated fatty acids, whole grains, and fibre can significantly reduce visceral fat levels. As can getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Strength training is more effective at preventing age-related increases belly fat compared to cardio.

Loosing fat:

In adulthood the overall number of adipocytes stays stable, according to a 2008 paper in the journal nature. Most weight loss and weight gain comes from loosing or gaining adipocytes but from those cells expanding and shrinking as the energy inside is stored or burned. Adipocytes do gradually die off and get replaced, according to that study. The median turnover for fat cells is about 8.4 percent a year, with half of the fat cells in the body replaced every 8.3 years.