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  1. #1
    LORDBLiTZ Guest

    Question about fat cells

    I was told that the human body can't multiply fat cells after peuberty. When you put more body fat on or take it off you are just changing the size of the cell. Any truth to this?

  2. #2
    TANK01's Avatar
    TANK01 is offline Associate Member
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    Jun 2003
    Oh well.

    I believe that the current thinking is that you are pre-disposed by genetics to have a certain number of fat cells. In later life, excluding liposuction, you are only able to influence the size of these fat cells, not the number.

    That is, if you diet you reduce the size of the cells not the number.

    Just an opinion I could be very very wrong.

  3. #3
    lloyd_cannon's Avatar
    lloyd_cannon is offline Associate Member
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    Mar 2003
    The Field of Friday Night Lights.
    this sounds like what Ive heard but it was the same for muscle tissue

  4. #4
    BimBamBoom's Avatar
    BimBamBoom is offline Associate Member
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    Mar 2003
    I had this saved as a text file, but I got it from a website, I hope I'm not messing with any copyrights.
    (at least the author is credited at the bottom)

    Hope this article helps.

    Question: I read that you are born with a certain number of fat cells, but that you can produce more by overeating. I also read that once you have those fat cells, they never go away. You can empty them, but they are still there, like insidious little sponges just waiting for you to trip up so they can refill themselves. The article said that the only way to really get rid of them was through liposuction. I wonder if this article was factual or not.

    You're born with a predetermined number of fat cells, with women generally inheriting more than men. The number of fat cells then grows through late childhood and early puberty, after which it is pretty much set. Fat cell number increases more rapidly in obese children than in lean children. The amount of fat someone has is a reflection of both the number and the size of the fat cells.

    For a long time, it used to be thought that people got "fat" by filling up those "insidious little sponges," just as you described. It was conventional wisdom that the only difference between obese people and non-obese people was that obese people had all their fat cells "filled up" to maximum capacity. It's now known that we can -- and do, in fact -- "grow" more fat cells in adulthood, and that obese people have more fat cells than non-obese people. What happens is that when fat cells have expanded to their maximum size, they can divide, thus producing an increase in the actual number of fat cells. Obesity develops when a person's fat cells increase either in number (called hyperplasia), in size (called hypertrophy) or very often in both.

    I'd venture a guess that this increase in the number of fat cells happens for many different reasons -- not just overeating -- but there does seem to be a relationship between obesity and the number of fat cells.

    The "unfairness" of all this is obvious: If, for whatever reason -- childhood eating, genetics or some unexplained phenomenon -- you wind up with a whole lot of fat cells by the time you reach puberty, you may have to work extra hard to keep weight off. We all know people who can eat anything and not seem to gain, whereas others simply look at the Ben and Jerry's and put on weight. The number of "insidious little sponges" could be one of the many explanations.

    It's also one of the curses of the formerly fat and the perennially dieting. People with extra fat cells may be able to shrink these cells and get great results, but since their fat cells don't just disappear, they tend to regain lost weight rapidly if they're not careful. Those "insidious little sponges" are just waiting to be fed, so it takes some real commitment and care to keep the weight off permanently.

    However, like many shuffles of the genetic cards, what you are dealt may be less important than how you play the hand. We all went to school both with people who seemed to get As without cracking a book, and with others who had to put in long hours of studying. Ultimately, your performance has more to do with knowing what and who you are -- and then working with that -- instead of fighting it. I know it's not "fair," but neither is gravity. It just is. And you can deal with it a lot more successfully if you just accept that those are the rules of the game.

    Jonny Bowden, M.A., C.N.S.

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