Fat is not always a health hazard
Obesity certainly ups the odds that you will succumb to a cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer – but it is not quite as cut and dry as the gurus would have you believe.
There are people who are seriously overweight and perfectly OK. Yeah… they have a few extra aches and pains, since carrying around all those extra pounds is hard work, but blood pressure, sugar levels, cholesterol levels, the metabolic stuff is NORMAL.
And there are people who are not particularly overweight, with serious metabolic abnormalities.
A team of researchers from the University of Bergen, think it might have something to do with POPs.
POP goes the weasel
So what are POPs ? POPs are defined as persistent organic pollutants.
The term is used to describe a variety of chemicals, which are made up of lots of carbon atoms, this makes them organic. These molecules, have their atoms arranged in such a way, that “Mother Nature” finds them difficult to break down, since the chemicals are not metabolized easily, they stick around for longer periods of time. Chemicals that are hanging around, tend to accumulate in the environment, this then turns them into pollutants.
POPs are everywhere – they are by products of modern living. Agriculture, industrial and manufacturing processes create them. We’re all being exposed to them, our habits and neighbourhoods, impact just how much, but every day your body is encountering POPs.
Popping up in fat cells
One of the places they pile up in, is in fatty tissues – ours, as well as in animals. The reason this happens is because of the chemical properties of these molecules, they are lipid soluble i.e. they dissolve in fat.
Lots of studies have found more POPs inside people who are overweight / obese – so they have been implicated in obesity. But being obese means you have more fat cells, more places for the POPs to be stored in, so detecting more POPs in the obese is expected.
A situation that is obviously not desirable, but not necessarily the cause of the problem.
Healthy obese have less POPs
The research team looked at POPs levels in 76 obese ladies, in addition to analysing the concentrations of 21 different POPs, the team also assessed the metabolic health of each lady, recording the usual parameters, such as blood pressure, insulin sensitivity etc.
All the ladies had excess fat cells, so the team expected to find higher POPs levels, but they were surprised to find distinct differences in the POPs profiles of these ladies.
POPs patterns predictive
The metabolically healthy obese ladies had lower levels of POPs overall.
When the team analysed specific POPs, they discovered the obese ladies with cardiometabolic complications, had higher levels of 12 specific POPs. The pattern that emerged, suggests that the POPs may be doing more than just hanging out in the fat cells.
At this stage it is not clear whether the difference in the POPs patterns is because
- the POPs are contributing directly to the problem or
- they’re just another part of the metabolic process that is broken, in people who are suffering for metabolic syndrome.
Either way…………… it makes sense to limit your exposure to these chemicals.
POPs are everywhere…
So limiting your exposure is easier said than done.
We are all being exposed to these chemicals every single day………………. they are ubiquitous, but our habits and environment, do modulate our exposure.
Of the things you can control, processed foods and personal care products are big contributors to your exposure. What you eat and how you groom yourself can be adjusted through strategic shopping choices. When you’re wheeling up and down the aisle, try to opt for more “natural” versions of foods and cleaning products, this will help limit your exposure to these chemicals.
|Could air pollution be making you fat ?||The face of pollution inflames the soul||That big belly of yours is on fire if you have type 2 diabetes|