15/06/2019 by Dr Philip Bazire 0 Comments
A description of lipoinflammation (chronic background inflammation associated with obesity), its negative effects on the body, and how it will respond to treatment of overweight and obesity and appropriate supplementation.
Lipoinflammation, also known as meta-inflammation (from “metabolic-triggered inflammation”) or chronic background inflammation associated with obesity, refers to the low-grade inflammation that arises in adipose (fat) tissue as it increases in volume, i.e. as a person gains weight. This has negative consequences for the body.
Why does lipoinflammation arise?
Increased cell size
As a person puts on weight through increased fat accumulation, the adipocytes (fat cells) must store this fat. They can do this either by increasing in size or in number. In the human body, both processes take place. When cells get too large, the cell membrane becomes stressed, like blowing up a balloon. This stress itself leads to the onset of inflammation; it also makes the cell more delicate, making it more likely to rupture, which will further increase the inflammatory reaction.
Some fat stores, such as those in the abdomen, are particularly prone to store extra fat by increasing cell size. So the fat in the abdomen is the most likely to become inflamed and start to cause harmful effects around the body. You will remember doctors saying that it is your abdominal fat that is most dangerous – here you have one of the reasons why that is the case.
Insufficient blood supply
Another factor is that as adipose tissue increases in volume, some areas lack sufficient blood supply and do not receive all the oxygen they need. This will cause some cells to die, further increasing the inflammatory reaction.
Lipoinflammation is believed to be closely related to diet-induced inflammatory changes in the bowel wall, very likely associated with alterations of the intestinal microbiota. This is an extensive topic and one I shall return to in another article.
What changes does lipoinflammation provoke in the body?
Inflammatory reactions are essential to heal our body when something is wrong – a cut, a fracture, an infection. Acute inflammation is necessary for the body to fight foreign organisms and repair damaged tissue. But the reaction must then be switched off. If that doesn’t occur, we get what is called a chronic inflammatory reaction, with many negative consequences:
- Lipoinflammation is associated with changes in the way the body handles carbohydrates and fats, causing us to store more fat and for some of that fat to accumulate in tissues not normally meant to hold fat: muscle, liver, pancreas.Fat stored in tissues where it should not normally be present is harmful. In the muscle liver and pancreas, it can lead to insulin resistance and decreased insulin secretion. Insulin is the hormone that controls the concentration of sugar in the blood. When it does not work properly, blood sugar levels can rise, causing type 2 diabetes.
- Lipoinflammation alters the secretion or activity of hormones that control our desire to eat, leading to increased appetite and decreased satiety. Thus, a vicious circle develops, in which increased weight leads to an increased food intake.
- Dyslipidaemia develops. This is an alteration of the fats in the blood, with elevated triglycerides and low HDL-cholesterol, recognised as a pattern associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease.
- Increased oxidative stress. The metabolism of fats through alternative pathways increases the production of reactive oxygen species, highly reactive molecules that can damage many structures within cells, including our DNA, increasing the risk of cancerous changes.
How much any of these particular changes will develop depends on many factors: weight, diet, lifestyle, and genetic and epigenetic factors.
The consequences of these changes are that obesity is self-perpetuating and there is a significant increase in the risk of chronic diseases:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Degenerative joint disease
How can we treat lipoinflammation?
Two actions are central to reducing lipoinflammation:
1. Reduce the stimulus (lose weight)
2. Turn off the inflammation already present
Returning to a healthy weight will remove the stimulus to inflammation by reducing the size of the fat cells and decreasing the volume of the adipose tissue so that oxygen can reach all areas. Obviously, the sooner this occurs the better. So rapid weight loss should be beneficial. However, the weight that is lost must be fat, not just fluid as happens with most fad diets. PronoKal is designed so that weight loss is almost all fat and is rapid (in clinical trials, the average loss in the first month was 9 kg, of which over 90% was fat).
When weight is lost, inflammation is no longer progressive. However, the inflammation already present does not resolve unless we actively do something to turn it off. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the omega-3 fatty acids present in oils from fish and certain algae, is known to be a source of the anti-inflammatory molecules in the body. PronoKal has shown in clinical trials that its DHA supplement is absorbed and included into the pathways that reduce inflammation; it will thus favour the reduction in chronic inflammation.
What effects will the resolution of lipoinflammation have?
The PnK diet, with its specific anti-inflammatory supplementation, will help you achieve a healthy weight and resolve lipoinflammation. Apart from the great feeling of achieving a healthy weight, and the self-esteem that comes from the accomplishment, numerous benefits are to be appreciated:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased satiety
- Lower risk of weight regain
- Lower risk of obesity-related diseases