Fat Is An Organ

Discussion in 'Science' started by Kelj, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Biochemistry of adipose tissue: an endocrine organ

    It is time we start respecting our fat. Fat cells are not a mere repository for excess energy. The above paper has this to say:

    "Adipose tissue is no longer considered to be an inert tissue that stores fat. This tissue is capable of expanding to accommodate increased lipids through hypertrophy of existing adipocytes and by initiating differentiation of pre-adipocytes."

    "As an endocrine organ, adipose tissue is responsible for the synthesis and secretion of several hormones."

    "This tissue is no longer considered to be an inert tissue that just stores fat [1]. Adipose tissue is a metabolically dynamic organ..."

    "It is now generally recognized that adipose tissue is an important organ of a complex network that participates in the regulation of a variety of quite diverse biological functions"

    "white adipose tissue's.....extensive distribution in the body, involving, or infiltrating, almost the entire region subcutaneously by organs and hollow viscera of the abdominal cavity or mediastinum and several muscle groups, for which it offers mechanical protection, softening the impact of shocks and allowing appropriate sliding of muscle bundles, one on the other, without compromising their functional integrity [2, 4]. Because it is an excellent thermal insulator and has a wide distribution, including the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, it plays an important role maintaining body temperature [5]. By this ability to accumulate and provide energy when necessary, it assumes the status of the most important buffering system for lipid energy balance"

    "White adipose tissue may represent the largest endocrine tissue of humans. Its pleiotropic nature is based on the ability of fat cells to secrete numerous hormones, growth factors, enzymes, cytokines, complement factors and matrix proteins. Adipose tissue also expresses receptors for most of these factors that are implicated in the regulation of many processes including food intake, energy expenditure, metabolism homeostasis, immunity and blood pressure homeostasis [7, 13]."

    "Adipose tissue is dynamically involved in cell function regulation through a complex network of endocrine (signals travel through the circulatory system to reach all parts of the body), paracrine (signals sent only to cells in the vicinity of the cell station), and autocrine (only affecting cells that are the same type) signals that influence the response of many tissues, including hypothalamus, pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle, kidneys, endothelium, and the immune system, among others. This secretory nature has prompted the view of white adipose tissue as an extremely active endocrine tissue [5]."

    To start respecting this organ and the protection it affords us, we need to look at what the science really shows about fat and obesity. As it says here:

    Obesity Basic Facts I — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "Obesity is not a disease. It is not a marker of ill health or lowered life expectancy. The chronic conditions that are weakly correlated with “obesity” exist at all weights and are more likely to cause death in those who are average or below average weight than those who are above average weight."

    "In the past 25 years alone, teenagers have increased overall 1% in height and 4% in weight on average. In that same time period, life expectancy increased on average by 6 years in most developed nations, which in Canada translated to a 7% increase in life expectancy from 1980 to 2005 (National Statistics). Rather interesting correlations, no?"

    "And why did our populations remain thinner and shorter than today, despite improved nutrition after the Second World War? Smoking rates— that coincidentally began declining 25 years ago.39,40,41 Smoking suppressed reaching optimal weight and generated massive spike in disease states. In fact cardiovascular disease and mortality rates have dropped with smoking rates despite the questionably touted correlation of weight and heart disease."

    "Weight is not a measure of health. Weight is not a predictor of sustaining your health either."
     
  2. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    Thank you. This is a great for review paper @Kelj
     
  3. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    So, where does that leave the much touted Body Mass Index ?
     
  4. postman

    postman Member

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    I haven't read the paper yet but that second link sounds like fat acceptance social justice warrior nonsense
     
  5. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Part V Fat: No More Fear, No More Contempt — The Eating Disorder Institute

    Some interesting history here on the Metropolitan Life BMI chart, including:

    "Nothing in the 70 years since has actually been able to prove Dublin’s theory. Being overweight does not cause early death. Being overweight does not even dependably correlate with early death either. In fact, being overweight is strongly correlated with less likelihood of death when compared to average mortality.

    The human form simply has a range in which it can function well."
     
  6. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    We must remember that there's more to life than just being alive. Being too fat affects quality of life. I'd be more interested to see correlations of body weight to overall feeling of well-being not just lifespan. A few pounds overweight sure, but there is absolutely no way that quality of life is the same with someone 50-100+ lb overweight and someone who is not. Sure, there are always exceptions, but as a whole, I rather doubt it.

    Fat absolutely is good at keeping you alive. The body does whatever it does to keep you alive, this much is true. But you have to work for optimal health which is different than just being alive. Usually, your body is more concerned about keeping you alive than it is pushing your health to optimal levels which is why it is so much harder to achieve optimal health than just dragging along to live another year.
     
  7. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Part V Fat: No More Fear, No More Contempt — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "The average BMI for women is approximately 26.8 and for men, 26. The top point of the curve is not right in the middle of the range and we have a very long tail going out to the highest BMIs ever recorded.

    The life expectancies of people who have BMIs of 188? 10-12 years less than average. However there are so few people at this range that the data are not statistically valid.

    The 2009 meta-analysis of 57 separate studies on BMI and mortality rates [Lancet Medical Journal] show lowest mortality rates for women and men between BMI 22.5 to 25. And while mortality increased quickly for those under BMI 22.5 (to about 7 years’ less than average life expectancy by BMI 17.5), life expectancy for BMI 35 was reduced to between 2-4 years. It was estimated that life expectancy beyond BMI 35 would be perhaps 8-10 years less than average.

    This particular meta-analysis was funded by: UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, EU BIOMED programme, US National Institute on Aging, and Clinical Trial Service Unit (Oxford, UK).

    Just at face value, there is a commensurate estimated loss in life expectancy if you drop 5 points in BMI levels from 22.5 or if you gain 10 points from BMI 25."

    It's just not the straightforward equation: higher bmi=earlier death that we're being fed by monetarily interested parties. But, if a person pursues enough calories there body will become its optimum weight. And that calorie amount is not below 3000-3500 calories for the average person.
     
  8. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    There's nothing worse than old age, except the alternative. ;)
     
  9. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I for one am more interested in quality of life than length of life. I'd actually prefer to live only 10 more years, if each day was 100% awesome, than live 100 or even 1000 more years of pain, depression, and otherwise some form of misery. That's just me though. Immortality wouldn't even interest me that much unless I could be assured of high quality life throughout it.
     
  10. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

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    Fat is an endocrine organ that most people will feel better without...but with chronic illness these days everything is backwards
     
  11. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    It's always an endocrine organ which must be present, but doesn't have to grow larger than normal unless we are starving ourselves and becoming ill from it or from something else.
     
  12. Vinny

    Vinny Member

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    So, where are the overweight centenarians, Kelj?
     
  13. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Not starving, Vinny. So, not overweight.
     
  14. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Look up pictures of Alelia Murphy when younger. It is common that folks carrying extra weight after 50 begin to lose it again two decades later.
     
  15. ScurveDream

    ScurveDream Member

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    I'd live longer in misery because the longer you live, the more chance there is at reaching immortality -- and reaching such a state only would likely continue to improve health and life quality since there is no physical deterioration or specific time to run out.

    I definitely would trade a short, great life for an indefinite one of misery because I would exist with no bounds and have the means of achieving more and more, changing my situation at some point.

    A good but short life would make me sad because it will still end. Why should it have to end? Being miserable but living long enough to see the other side would be like struggling to climb a mountain but reaching the holy peak of perfection/solution in some way.

    Then again I don't believe or accept dying personally. I refuse the notion of having to live to one day die -- that doesn't feel right to me and I won't consider it inevitable as long as I believe a time can come to assure it can't be.

    But by now I probably sound like some video game antagonist, so I'll get back to the main subject.

    I believe you can be heavier and live long and in okay health -- nothing weird sounding about that. Just being a little over or under weight doesn't dramatically affect lifespan in most cases. A lot of people die of old age (and become old) because of mitochondria/DNA damage from environment stress/toxins and incapacity of cellular energy/regeneration (failing organs; immunity issues/cancer; damage accumulation from external factors; etc.).

    I wouldn't advise anyone to be obese though, because although it doesn't necessarily equate to a guaranteed death from 'X' cause, it would only likely be a burden with our current aging process (i.e., you'll grow older and maybe weaker, and being obese will not likely help you although won't necessarily lead you to an early grave either).
     
  16. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I wonder how much of this has to do with retirement then.

    Let's face it, the average joe is under insane stress during middle age due to work stress, daily commute, lack of sleep, life stress (often divorce or stressful spouse), and stress due to having to children also. It isn't until age 60-70 (aka, two decades later from 50) that retirement occurs, children have left the home, and failing relationships have finally dissolved to divorce or have resolved and continue healthfully.

    It's not all about stuffing calories down the gut until the stress goes away.

    Environmental stress, stress from job, stress from spouse, stress from kids can overpower even a 10,000 calorie intake.

    So only the healthy and lean people live to 100+ essentially. How is this not reflected in lifespan studies?
     
  17. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    No, of course not. Health does not always coincide with leanness. The studies show a bmi in the overweight (so-called) category live longer than the lean. My point is, if people nourish themselves properly, their fat deposition will be what it should be. Their fat organ will not be in excess unless as you say, there are other stressors. I think we have to question this idea that we are so much more stressed from external factors than people used to be, though. The main problem I see as very different is the selection of starvation (dieting) as a lifestyle, which is a tremendous stress which makes us far less resilient to handle other stressors. Are we saying no one worked long hours in the past? They had only Sundays off in recent history. Did they not have bad marriages, with no divorce allowed? Didn't they have a lot of extra work at home, too? We have a lot of conveniences.
    The point here is, our bodies are terrifically resilient. The organ that is fat has been made into a demon and the science, when fattist attitudes are subtracted from the conclusions, does not show that it is dangerous to our health, but rather that it protects us from what we are largely choosing to do to ourselves. Let's give it some respect for saving our lives. Also, there certainly are centenarians who have not been what is considered lean their whole lives. The science shows that fat does not equal a short life.
     
  18. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    Yes. People have always been stressed, that hasn't changed much over the years no doubt. I sincerely doubt people were better fed though. Probably about the same. Like you said, with even more rough working conditions, I kind of doubt people had more time to eat food than they do now.

    So what has changed? EMF's, artificial lighting, lack of sunlight, poor quality processed foods like vegetable oils and other PUFA's. It can be clearly correlated that health decline began with the introduction of fast foods, technology and people sitting in front of computers/not getting sunlight all day, PUFA's, vegetable oils, and more.

    I don't think starvation either intentional or unintentional is much different between decades past and today. Food quantity is likely similar, food quality is way worse now. Actually if anything food is easier to come by than ever before.
     
  19. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Obesity Science In Context — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "It’s one of the great misunderstandings of human evolution that we believe we are optimized for famine. The vast majority of us is not. If you take a look at the middens (garbage heaps) of Paleolithic cultures throughout Europe and pretty much anywhere except sub-Saharan Africa, the Arctic, and the deserts of North America, we positively gorged and had access to endless supplies of sea and river-based foods. Famine was a relatively recent experience for Homo sapiens "
     
  20. CLASH

    CLASH Member

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    From what I have read the overweight category for BMI is actually considered healthy and protective, whereas the underweight category and obese category seem to categorize states in which thier are issues. Overweight in BMI also doesnt imply increased body fatness, increased muscle mass, mesomorphic body type etc. can read as overweight yet be lean.

    In the case of obesity I dont think the main issue is the fat itself, the fat is a protective mechanism, I think the issue is the trigger causing the fat accumulation i.e. bacterial toxins, PUFA, eating sh*t food, previous prolonged starvation etc.
     
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