Obesity and inflammation

Obesity and inflammation

Inflammation and obesity are often linked with visceral fat. Visceral fats are the fat that surrounds our organs. It doesn't have much room for oxygen when too much or excess fat. Therefore, their low-oxygen environment triggers inflammation. 

Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury and disease. A short-term inflammation or acute inflammation occurs when we injure ourselves or cut ourselves. This minor inflammation around the wounded area helps repair the damaged tissue and aids in healing if it happens for a long time or goes on too long. Visceral fat cells are large, and there are a lot of them. This excess fat doesn't have much room for oxygen. And that a low-oxygen environment triggers inflammation.

When the immune defense system is impaired, the body cannot defend itself through inflammation. As a result, overeating increases the immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, leading to a number of chronic diseases.

Inflammation-induced by obesity represents a focused and rapid response to a site of injury or infection by the innate immune system, responsible for fighting new infections. However, unlike the defensive inflammatory response that fights off an infection, the inflammation marked by obesity does not resolve and, without intervention, can become chronic.

Adipose or fat cells retain the injury and begin the inflammatory process - disrupting metabolic homeostasis: 

  1. The immune system recognizes the injury/wound and sends an array of inflammatory cytokines. 
  2. These cytokines travel to adipose cells and the liver, pancreas, and sometimes the brain and muscle tissues. 
  3. Other immune cells infiltrate metabolic tissues, such as natural killer cells (NT) and macrophages.
  4. Changes appear in the T cell population of adipose cells. There seems to be a decrease in regulatory T cells, which favors further immune activation.

Thus, there is an association between increased weight gain and increased inflammation; however, reducing excess weight means less inflammation. Primarily, different types of lipids may become elevated due to obesity or diet. These lipids may contribute or lead to the pathology of obesity by driving the cellular infiltration of pro-inflammatory macrophages. Yet, other lipids such as omega-3 and omega- have an inflammatory property. 

Inflammation as a precursor to weight gain

By making you more prone to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, systematic inflammation can cause weight gain easier and weight loss more difficult. For this reason, specific populations such as people with rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic condition marked by systematic inflammation) are more susceptible to insulin resistance and metabolic disorder. For people dealing with these conditions, understanding how to manage a balanced diet and active lifestyle can be vital to preventing the cycle of inflammation and obesity.

Breaking the cycle of obesity and inflammation is difficult, but not impossible. An excess of weight often equals more inflammation. It also can cause a cascade of hormonal adaptations that disrupt your body's hunger signaling. Inflammation knocks the body out of balance, and a healthy and balanced lifestyle is key to returning the body to health and equilibrium.

Certain foods that reduce inflammation can depend on the person and the complete dietary approach. We eat in patterns, and an imbalanced and heavily processed diet is often inflammatory. However, certain foods do seem to decrease inflammation. For example, omega-3 and omega-6 can reduce inflammation by correcting the imbalance of lipids in the body. However, certain other foods may also decrease inflammation due to polyphenols.

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