Today, we will explore the common enemy of women – fat cells – and what they are and what they do. Without fat cells, there would be no obesity, but why does the human body need them?
Fat cells, or adipocytes, are the primary cells that make up adipose tissue and specialize in storing energy in the form of fat. They are formed through adipogenesis, which is the process of mesenchymal stem cells developing into fat cells. There are two types of adipose tissue: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT), which contain two types of fat cells.
White adipose cells are surrounded by cytoplasmic large lipid droplets and have a flattened nucleus pushed to the periphery. The cells have a diameter of 0.1 millimeters, with some being twice that size and others being half that size. The stored fat is semi-liquid and consists mainly of triglycerides and cholesterol esters. White adipose cells secrete many proteins that act as adipokines, such as resistin, adiponectin, and leptin, which play a vital role in metabolism.
Brown adipose cells are multi-faceted and have a considerable amount of cytoplasm with fat droplets throughout. The cell nucleus is round and not flattened like that of white adipose cells. Brown fat cells contain large numbers of mitochondria and are used to generate heat.
Obesity is caused by an increase in the size or number of fat cells. In obese individuals, factors that produce glycerol, hormones, and pro-inflammatory cytokines are increased in fat cells, leading to insulin resistance. This resistance can lead to metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Insulin also stimulates the production of fat cells.
Fat cells can be converted from androgens to estrogens. Overly high or low levels of estrogen can cause menstrual irregularities and infertility. Therefore, being underweight or overweight can have some impact on the body. In addition, fat cells produce leptin, which is important in regulating appetite and giving a feeling of fullness. A lack of leptin can have a negative impact on weight control.
In addition to storing necessary energy for the body, fat cells play a role in metabolism. They help control fat storage and reduce localized fat tissue to achieve an ideal facial shape and body contour.