The Hidden Fat Underneath Your Belly is NOT Always Bad (Visceral Fat)
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Is there a purpose for VISCERAL FAT? If so, what is that purpose? Well, if it’s inside our body, it’s there for a reason. So let’s take a look at the role visceral fat plays in our health. Let’s dive in and I’ll see you in the COMMENTS!!
Per a study in Digestive Diseases entitled, “The Role of Visceral Fat” stated that visceral fat “recognizes danger”
Recognition of Danger by Visceral Fat
The release of free fatty acids by adipocytes following LPS stimulation, and hence responsiveness of fat cells to bacterial components, is an effect detected over 30 years ago
In the next step, the expression of the pattern recognition receptors Toll-like receptors (TLR) 2 and 4 was detected on adipocytes generated from the 3T3L1 cell line
*Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system. They are single-pass membrane-spanning receptors usually expressed on sentinel cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells, that recognize structurally conserved molecules derived from microbes.*
Basically TLRs they have critical role in the early innate immune response to invading pathogens by sensing microorganism and are involved in sensing endogenous danger signals – they detect and recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns derived from microbes*
Adipocytes express a broad set of TLRs and that specific stimulation induces secretion of immune regulatory mediators
In addition, the expression of pattern recognition receptors is not restricted to TLR – preadipocytes express the functional intracellular pattern recognition receptors nucleotide oligomerization domains (NOD) 1 and 2 – expression of NOD1 is regulated by TNF- or LPS while expression of NOD2 by IFN
So visceral fat is capable of ‘responding’ in case of bacterial translocalization – responding implies the subsequent release of various mediators that are then capable of inducing an effector response within the visceral fat.
In addition, preadipocytes offer their own first line of defense for translocalizing antigens, demonstrating phagocytic and antimicrobial activity. These findings indicate that preadipocytes share functional properties with macrophages.
Leptin deficiency occurs rarely, but a deficiency is associated with impaired T cell proliferation and an increased mortality in childhood due to infections – leptin is seemingly a critical factor for T cell proliferation and differentiation
Leptin, originating from visceral fat, represents a critical factor for the induction and maintenance of intestinal inflammation
Adiponectin decreases in obesity and vice versa – adiponectin enhances insulin sensitivity and decreases the expression of adhesion molecules in vascular walls, and therefore the atherogenic risk
Visceral fat represents a complex compartment consisting of adipocytes, preadipocytes, stromal cells, vascular cells, macrophages, T cells and neutrophils
*Visceral fat lies in the spaces between the abdominal organs and in an apron of tissue called the omentum.*
In a review published in Trends in Immunology, researchers discuss how the omentum is also an important immune organ that serves as a first line of defense against toxins and infection
Many of the immune cells that reside within the omentum are found in aggregates termed fat-associated lymphoid clusters, or “milky spots” – the milky spots are analogous to lymph nodes
Milky spots, similarly, filter the fluid that flows from the abdominal cavity – the clusters of immune cells in both milky spots and lymph nodes sense microbes, damaged cells, and inflammatory mediators and initiate appropriate immune responses