Is Obesity an Inflammatory Condition? Part II by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale
We’ve already mentioned that gaining weight, especially around the middle, may be due to inflammation and the effects that inflammation has on the body. And that LipoFlush is formulated to fight this inflammation, as well as its adverse effects, especially insulin resistance and increased cortisol levels in adipose tissue.
To a lot of people this whole concept may sound far fetched. But it’s not¹. Who would have even imagined a few decades ago that ulcers were caused by bacteria? But they are. And today treatment involves the use of multiple antibiotics.
Because it’s not intuitive, at least at this point in our common understanding, we need to explore some of the current concepts linking inflammation and obesity.
Most of us equate inflammation with infections and injuries. Something we can see or feel. Like a boil on our skin, or a chest infection, or a swollen strained ankle. Or perhaps an ear infection in a child, with fever, aches and pains, and all the rest.
What we’re actually seeing, however, in all of these cases are the results of inflammation secondary to injury of some sort, infectious or traumatic, and thus simply the body’s response to the insult. The actual inflammatory process underlies it all and is much more than just what we see or feel.
In fact, inflammation is a complex process that can be measured not only by the changes that take place with obvious infections, but also by measuring the markers in the body that uncover the fact that an inflammatory process is going on, even if the inflammation is not obvious or doesn’t result in any symptoms.
Most of us, and certainly all of us as we get older, have some evidence of chronic inflammation. In most cases, although it’s nothing we can put a finger on, there is something going on in our bodies that are making it react as if it we are going through some sort of long term, low level, infection. We can detect this inflammation by measuring certain markers of inflammation in our bodies, including pro-inflammatory cytokines such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1 beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).
Low levels of inflammation, as shown by these and other inflammatory markers are linked to various diseases and conditions, including insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, coronary artery disease and arthritis. Obesity, and body fat, especially visceral adipose tissue (the fat around the belly) are both linked to low level inflammation in the body, again as measured by an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines rather than overt signs and symptoms, and to various disease processes.2,3
Body fat is an active endocrine tissue and is the source of several hormones and cytokines. It’s also a site of active inflammation. Surprising isn’t it to find out that a tissue that we all thought was a passive storage facility for excess calories, is actually a metabolic hotbed?
In fact, weight gain has been found to be associated with an increase in pro-inflammatory signals from adipose tissue.4 These signals in turn may be responsible for further increases in weight and body fat. What we have is a vicious circle where fat begets more fat, inflammation leads to insulin resistance, increase in body fat which begins the cycle again. and soon begins to affect our health.5
Several studies have shown links between inflammatory markers (such as C-reactive protein) and body fat – especially visceral adipose tissue.6,7,8,9,10,11 These and others also show a link between the pro-inflammatory cytokines and both insulin resistance and excess local glucocorticoid activity. It’s been shown that an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines results in an increase in insulin resistance, which in turn increases the formation of cortisol from cortisone by the enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
While the effects may not be measured systemically (blood cortisol levels are usually normal in obese people), the pro-inflammatory cytokines have been implicated in the local regulation of cortisol, by increasing its production in fat cells. For example, it’s been shown that TNF-alpha causes insulin resistance and increased local cortisol production.12 And to add to the problem, it’s also been shown that body fat in obese people secretes more TNF-alpha than the equivalent amount of fat in lean people.
It’s been shown that an increase in inflammatory mediators predicts the future development of obesity and diabetes and, interestingly enough, depression. It would seem that the link between obesity and increased body fat, and increased inflammatory mediators might be considered as a cause-effect relationship. As such, decreasing levels of inflammation, and especially the pro-inflammatory cytokines may decrease body fat and weight gain by both direct, and by indirect effects. The indirect effects would be by decreasing inappropriate cortisol production and by increasing insulin sensitivity.
But there’s more to the story. Reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokines results in an increase in levels of IGF-I, resulting in an increase in fat breakdown and oxidation of fatty acids, and anti-catabolic effects on muscle mass. The overall result is an increase in fat loss while maintaining skeletal muscle mass.13,14
:: LipoFlush :: contains several ingredients that reduce inflammation and the production and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and aid in the overall process of fat loss while at the same time decreasing muscle catabolism.
:: Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale :: is one of the most influential voices on diet, performance and athletic training in the world. His innovative work in finding safe nutritional alternatives to anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs has won him praise from athletes, trainers and fitness experts around the globe. Dr. Di Pasquale was a world-class athlete for over 15 years, winning the World Championships in powerlifting in 1976 and world games in 1981.