Body fat: why does it accumulate in certain areas, what is a healthy percentage and how to eliminate it?

It annoys us when we see that she is stubbornly clinging to our holsters or our poop. Plus when we feel like it or when it prevents us from stuffing ourselves into the pants that fit us so well a few seasons ago. but, Like any other silent enemy, fat is more dangerous to what it hides than it is to what it reveals., Bad thing, you know, for us, until it shows its ears to diseases, the only pain we get is to see it.

José María Balibria, head of the Robotic Bariatric Surgery Program of the Upper GI Unit of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Service of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, ​​and Professor of Surgery at the University of Barcelona, ​​explains that “although this is not true to speak of. From a medical point of view, it is clear that this is the case.” There is a word that everyone understands and there is no reason not to use it. adipose tissueWhich are a group of cells called adipocytes that contain fat and are distributed throughout the body, achieving various functions”.

Lina Robles, nutritionist at Sanitas La Zarzuela University Hospital (Madrid), explains, “A Efficient way for the body to store energy, It does this in cells called adipocytes, the accumulation of which forms adipose tissue and, as we all know, an excess of this tissue will bring us health problems, especially with so-called metabolic diseases”.

Do not produce fat. Est. “Indeed – explains Dr. Balibria – there are two moments in our lives in which Increases the number of fat cells: soon after birth and around puberty, a stage in which they become practically immobile”.

what happens then? Why, all of a sudden, does he begin to make our anatomy his own? “There are people who experience an increase in that number of cells (a hyperplasia) or sometimes the same number of cells ‘filled up’ until they reach the threshold.” overgrowth“, belongs to this doctor.

Although its bad reputation precedes this, these cells are known as “A.” also use protective paper, because they are also produced under the skin and heat preservation. It is a lipid storage tissue, as Triglycerides which are the most cost effective source of energy That our body is above sugar”.

However, this adipose tissue, in its various forms, “can also be a producer of what we call intermediate substances that can trigger other biological processes, inflammacin For the regulation of very complex hormonal processes and even organs as sophisticated as the heart”.

But let’s go by the parts. There is nothing like knowing the ‘enemy’ to try to defeat him. What exactly are adipocytes? “They are cells that, basically, like an island, contain more than a nucleus surrounded by a very large amount of fat. The types depend, both on the characteristics of the cell that made them, as well as their The distribution also depend on the location and they can be: white, brown or gray and gray or ‘beige’.

More frequently and innumerable, Blibria states that “the blancos They are very large cells with a very small nucleus that is completely filled with fat.

With less fat stores inside, “the brown or gray They have other organs that produce other functions (such as thermogenesis). Interestingly, although until recently it was thought that they were present only in young children, “it has been found that, in adults, deposits can also occur, especially in the large vessels and abdomen, around the clavicle and kidneys.”

considered as ‘good fat’ Because of its ability to burn to generate heat, “attempts have been made to manipulate it with drugs to try to make it more than white and thus, lose weight, but this has not been achieved.” “.

subcutaneous y visceral

But what really sets fat apart is its place, “It can happen in any tissue. But basically, we have subcutaneous fat or somatic that, in addition to being a thermal barrier, performs a protective function. And, in theory, a lot of its distribution in the body depends on hormones.”

Lena Robles delves into the matter: “Men, for example, tend to store more in the abdomen and torso (fat android or apple-shaped), whereas in women of childbearing age, it is more likely to focus on the hips and thighs (gynoid or pear-shaped).

is usually preceded by an excess of subcutaneous fat, which is located in body pit This is called the intestine, which, in turn, is distinguished according to its ‘location’. “The part surrounding the heart is called the epicardial and has a different and even quite sophisticated function. The inside Abdomen, For its part, it enjoys a determined role. development of many diseasesYes, it constricts the blood vessels leading to the intestines”, explains Jose María Balibria.

This is dangerous because, unlike subcutaneous ones that only play a passive role of storage, “visceral adipocytes, Especially the stomach, they have the ability to imitate other types of cells, for example, inflammatory cells such as macrophages”.

Furthermore, he adds, “they are usually surrounded by a structure, which is like a scaffold, on which these cells are placed, called the extracellular matrix, which is very variable and many very sensitive to stimuli.”

In visceral fat, cautions this expert, “All diseases associated with obesity are cookedWhich in itself is a disease defined by being overweight due to an increase in fat, above all, visceral”.

This process causes “a range of substances to be produced that degrade and block the metabolism preventing it from working properly, becoming the root of pathologies such as insulin resistance, which is the basis of type 2 diabetes, cholesterol disturbances, fat deposits in the liver, or high blood pressure, This in itself is a cardiovascular risk factor.

Why do we store fat? The answer, apparently, seems simple: “The Fundamental Law of Energy Expenditure It couldn’t be simpler: what goes for what goes out or, in other words, what is eaten for what is burned. However, that rule can be broken. If a person has only ‘income’, there will come a time when his thick tissue will be done, so to speak, Resistant to exercise and will be very hard to burn, And, conversely, those who spend as soon as they receive, will do so more readily”, explains Dr. Balibria.

exactly the same thing happens with many obese patients who come to your consultation. “When you exceed a certain threshold, you reach a point of no return where metabolism cannot return and fat, One who has accumulated all the energy can no longer burn it and change his behaviour. This inhibits not only storage, but also those visceral adipocytes, which are similar inflammatory cellsThey begin to use that fat to produce substances, especially hormones, that what they do maintain that hoarding and non-spending position,

how to fight IT

will ass healthy fat percentage, Nutritionist Lena Robles frees us from doubts. “body fat The age of a healthy person should be between 12% to 19%, in womenThe equation varies greatly, but Normal levels range from 20% to 25%. This is because their body composition is different and due to bodily functions, especially during motherhood, their levels are higher. In addition, hormonal production, primarily estrogen, contributes to storage. All these values ​​are measured biological impedance, Specialized scales, which measure by means of electrodes our body structurei.e. how much fat do we have, if it is fat or lean fat, or the amount of fluid”.

So far, the robot picture ‘enemy’ (with its lights and shadows) but the million dollar question is: How can we delete it?, To find out, Dr. Balibria reminds us first that “the extent of fat depends on many factors. In fact, genetic obesityIn which there is a single gene that fails and causes unlimited accumulation of energy, this is an extraordinary mutation.

It also makes it clear that, although “it can be removed with a . liposuccinateExcitation, the energy that enters, will not decrease if there is no change in habitsIf you don’t eat better and do more sports”.

fat from inside the cavities It can’t be eliminated, but “I know you can reduce body composition through healthy habits, a balanced diet, and exercise. The problem is, When a threshold is exceeded and adipose tissue, especially visceral fat, is no longer able to burn energy efficientlyIt is very difficult to go back. That’s what happens to many obese patients: they lose weight with great difficulty, but gain it with extraordinary ease.”

Diet, exercise and specific treatments can help us “do” lose that bad fat, turn it into muscle“, explains Lena Robles. In it, There’s no room for miracle pills, nor do you deserve ‘neighbor success stories’, “If the fat level is too high and can pose a risk to our health, It is the specialist who should recommend a medicinal or natural remedy that helps to control them., But this, like diet, is important to do under the supervision and control of a professional,” he concluded.

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