What are fat cells? Fat cells are cells that make up the adipose tissue, they are part of the body fat and every one of us has them.
These Fat cells are part of our body and they do not go away, every one of us have them in our body.
They have been designed as our source of future energy, it’s just there to store excess fat away in our body…ready for when we need it urgently. e.g., such as when there is famine…. or lack of food/nutrients.
This is to ensure your survival. Think of these fat cells like balloons.
Do you know the one that kids blow air into and inflate without any limit i.e. Will not burst?
For example, when we eat food containing more calories than the body needs in a day, (an adult lady needs 2,000 calories per day while men need 2,500 per day).
Our fat cells become bigger, this will cause weight gain, when we exercise and burn fat through other means, the fat cells become smaller leading to weight loss.
That is to say, the size of the fat cells depends on the level of our calorie intake or the ones already stored in the body.
Our fat cells expand (becomes bigger in size) when we consume more calories than we burn in a day and decrease (become smaller in size) when we take FEWER calories than we burn in a day.
The level of Fat cells differs in our body depending on our age and sex, after adolescence, the production of fat cells stops.
Any increase in body fat will rather result in an increase in the size of the fat cells instead of the production of more fat cells unless there is an excessive weight gain.
How do fat cells work?
As part of the body fat, the energy gotten from the food we eat is stored within the fat cells as triglycerides pending when the body needs them.
The stored Triglycerides lead to an increase in the size of the fat cells.
Fat cells are therefore used to store Triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the body; formed when we eat food that contains more calories than the body needs at the moment.
These excess calories (energy) are converted by the body cells and store in the fat cells as Triglycerides pending when they are needed by the body.
Calories are the measure of energy or a unit of energy gotten from the food we eat, this energy is in turn used by the body for physical activities.
When the body breakdown food, the amount of energy gotten from the food depends on the calories content of the food.
The more calories in a food, the more energy the body gets from the food, when the body contains more calories than the body needs at a particular time, the excess calories are stored in the body as fat.
They will later be used when the body takes in fewer calories than it needs or burns more calories through any means.
Calories are the amount of energy released when your body breaks down (digests and absorbs) food.
The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as body fat.
Types of fat cells
There are three types of fat cells found in our body
- White Fat cells
- Brown Fat cells.
White fat cells
White fat cells are found predominantly beneath our skin (subcutaneous fat) or between our abdominal organs (visceral fat).
Primary energy source of human body is Glucose, which the body extracts from the food after every meal.
This Glucose is transmitted to the whole body via Blood. Excess Glucose is stored as Triglycerides in the White fat cells.
This process is called De novo Lipogenesis (DNL).
Besides that, White fat cells also secrete Leptin. Leptin is a very important appetite-suppressing hormone.
Leptin is responsible for sending satiety signals to the brain after a meal.
Leptin imbalance is frequently detected in those who suffer from overeating disorder.
This means, due to Leptin imbalance, their brain does not receive the satiety signals during a meal, hence they tend to overeat.
In adults, there are a limited number of fat cells, which means we cannot consciously burn the cells themselves but only the stored fat in them During fat loss.
Brown fat cells
Brown fat cells are mostly found in newborn babies. In Adults, their number is decreased with age, but still, in adults they can be found primarily in Neck, shoulders and spinal cord region.
Brown fat cells are also called “Good fat cells” because their primary function is Thermogenesis or heat production.
For Thermogenesis, these cells take energy from the stored Triglycerides (fat).
Brown fat cells have more Mitochondria than white fat cells.
Mitochondria can be compared to an engine that generates energy by burning fat as fuel.
In nutshell, brown fat cells help us in burning fat. It has been seen in studies, that brown fat cells are more active in cold temperatures.
So, next time if you feel cold, just know that you are also losing a bit of fat. Not only that, brown fat cells are also helpful against Obesity-related diseases like high blood pressure, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoarthritis.
Beige fat cells.
Beige fat cells are composed of White fat cells, but work as Brown fat cells, means they help in Thermogenesis.
White fat cells have been seen to be changed to Beige fat cells when exposed to cold temperatures and exercise.
Beige fat cells are also found helpful against many obesities-related diseases.
However, enough research is not available on these fat cells and it’s a new field of research for scientists.
Fat cells, or adipocytes, are specialized cells that store energy. They’re found in two places in the body: under the skin and around internal organs.
Each type of fat cell plays a specific role in the body and it is important not to confuse them.
Wrapping up What are fat cells
Fat cells are important for your body. They store energy that can be released during times of starvation or when the body needs extra fuel to operate properly.
Still, it is possible to have too many fat cells, which can increase your risk of developing obesity and other diseases.
Here are some tips for reducing excess fat cells in your body.
1) Eat a nutritious diet low in calories but high in fiber
2) Increase your physical activity level by walking more throughout the day
3 Take water often.