Body Systems – The Role of Fat

The Role of Fat

The human body is essentially a huge complex machine of interconnecting systems.  Each system has its own unique role and function but all are interconnected, working together to ensure a smoothly running system.  When the body systems are working together we are provided with a stable operating human body that enables us to carry out every day tasks and activities while allowing us an environment of growth and lifelong development.

Fat has a number of important roles in the body including the provision of stored energy.  However, an excess of stored energy (fat) can lead to problems such as obesity and heart disease.

Fat is a necessary component of a healthy diet and constitutes the bodies greatest source of stored energy.  Fat also protects the organs and strengthens the joints; assists in hormone production; and facilitates absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

Creating Fat

Storing fat occurs when fat usually in the form of triglycerides from the foods we eat is stored in adipose (fat) tissue.  Fat from food must be absorbed from the digestive system and moved to the bodies cells to be stored until needed by the body as a source of energy.  Fat begins its journey in the intestine where it is broken down into small mobile particles that pass into the lymphatic system which drains into the blood stream.

Once in the blood stream, these small fat particles known as chylomicrons last only a few minutes before they are actually broken down again by enzymes that are found in the walls of blood vessels that supply fat cells and break the fats down into fatty acids.  The fatty acids are then absorbed from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells where they are stored as fat droplets.  As the body stores more fat, the number of fat cells remain the same but the size of each fat cell gets bigger.  Additionally, it is possible for growing fat cells to absorb other food molecules such as glucose and amino acids from protein digestion and to convert them into fat for storage also.

Energy from Fat

Energy is derived from fat by the process of lipolysis the breakdown of fat into glycerol and fatty acids.  The process is activated by enzymes (lipases) in the fat cell.  The resulting fatty acids are then released into the blood and are converted and carried into the blood stream to the liver.  Once in the liver fatty acids can be broken down further or converted into glucose.

Excess Body Fat

Most nutritionist recommend a diet that includes around 35% fat.  This should be unsaturated fat such as olive oil rather than saturated fat such as derived from meat.  If a person consumes more fat than they metabolize (burn up) it is stored in fat reserves causing the patient to gain weight.

Obesity is defined by the level of body fat.  Men are classified as obese at more than 25% body fat and women 32% body fat.  Although fat plays a vital role, excessive fat is linked to several health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.


The Solution

At the Sollay Center of Excellence our board certified family practice staff specializes in assisting patients to address the growing common health problem of obesity and the associated medical conditions that it can cause.

Call today, 410-644-7655, for an appointment to meet with one of our trained family practice staff to discuss your body weight and body contouring needs.  Together we will help you to plan a diet and exercise program assisted with the use of specialty equipment such as SculpSure, TempSure, Vela Shape and Ultra Shape Power to assist you to meet your goals of losing weight and body shaping.  We can assist you to achieve your dreams and personal goals and to recover your health.

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