PT on the Net Research

The Science Behind Adipose Tissue


Question:

I know that we cannot spot target areas of fat tissue from the body (e.g., if my client wishes to reduce the amount of fat from waist and hips, it doesn't work - the whole body will change shape and not just the area in question). My question is why? What is the science behind the use of fatty acids and, more specifically, the origin from within the adipose tissue?

Answer:

This is a common situation that some practitioners, including myself, run into on a regular basis. There are many reasons why humans accumulate fat in those areas, why humans accumulate fat in general, why after liposuction the fat comes back and why most people and MDs overlook the mental/emotional aspects that are attached to the accumulation of fat in specific areas. I am going to do my best to keep it short and sweet. After reading this, if you have any further questions, feel free to email me.

Why do humans accumulate fat in general? This is quite simple and, most of the time, overlooked by all. If you look at the diet and lifestyle of many Americans, you will see some common threads that lead to fat accumulation:

  1. Overabundance of trans fats
  2. Overabundance of refined/processed foods
  3. Overabundance of alcohol
  4. Overabundance of pasteurized milk
  5. Over exposure to the many faces of stress (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, chemical, EMF, environment, etc.)
  6. This all equates to an overabundance of toxins that Americans are ingesting and being exposed to on a daily basis.

When it comes down to it, fat stores toxins. So, the poorer someone's nutrition and lifestyle habits are, the more fat they are going to accumulate.

There is an easy explanation/example you can use to get the point across to your client. The first point is to educate her about the Law of Cause and Effect. For everything she does in her life, there will be a cause or result. It is not by chance things happen to us; it is by choice! People living in developed countries today are extremely lazy and unhealthy; they don't want to take responsibility for themselves. The other example you can use is how they feed and breed cows before they slaughter them. The biggest (fattest) cow wins, and the breeder gets the most money. So what do conventional farmer do? They feed cows everything and anything (feces, dead animals, saw dust, cement dust, blood, plastic, etc). Why do they do this? Because fat stores toxins!

There are many other factors involved in gaining weight/fat when consistently working out. As a CHEK Practitioner, I use many physical, neurological, nutritional, physiological and lifestyle assessments to get to the root of a client's dysfunctions. Here are some areas you should look into yourself (or refer her out to explore further) in order to keep this dreaded fat away.

  1. Hormonal imbalances (any drop or increase in estrogen/progesterone will cause a spike in cortisol=fat storing hormone).
  2. Gut dysfunction (permeability, parasites, H. Pylori, hypochlorhydria to name a few). This leads to increased internal stress, increased cortisol levels, altered gland function and so on. The end result is weight gain.
  3. Endocrine gland dysfunction (adrenals and thyroid, which correlate with one another). The adrenal glands are used under any time of sympathetic stress. If a person is always stressed (most of the time internally), cortisol will continually be released. Once again, cortisol is a fat storing hormone.
  4. Visceral dysfunction (uterus, ovaries, kidney/bladder, liver/GB, etc inflammation or inhibition).
  5. Even the most casual observer will note that everyone does not carry their adipose tissue in the same anatomical locations. Adipose tissue that is located predominantly on the upper body has been termed "apple" distribution. This distribution pattern is found more frequently in men. When adipose tissue accumulates predominantly in the lower body, the term "pear" distribution is used. “Pear shape” is found more frequently in women than in men. This is another subject in itself.

Adipose tissue is specialized connective tissue that functions as the major storage site for fat in the form of triglycerides. Adipose tissue serves three functions: as heat insulation, mechanical cushion and, most importantly, a source of energy. Subcutaneous adipose tissue, found directly below the skin, is an especially important heat insulator in the body. Adipose tissue also surrounds internal organs and provides some protection for these organs from jarring.

Lipogenesis is the deposition of fat. This process occurs in adipose tissue and in the liver. Energy ingested as fat beyond that needed for current energy demands is stored in adipose tissue. In addition, carbohydrate and protein consumed in the diet can be converted to fat, so it is equivalent to taking in more than you can burn off. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, also plays a predominant role in the lipogenic process. The net effect of insulin is to enhance storage and block mobilization and oxidation of fatty acids. Lipolysis is the chemical decomposition and release of fat from adipose tissue. This process predominates over lipogenesis when additional energy is required.

Hopefully I have helped you. Good luck!