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Fat check: Researchers find explanation for stress’ damage in brown fat

In their search for what triggers the damaging side-effects caused by acute psychological stress, Yale researchers found an answer by doing a fat check.

In the face of psychological stress, an immune system response that can significantly worsen inflammatory responses originates in brown fat cells, the Yale team reports June 30 in the journal Cell.

Since the hormones associated with stress, cortisol and adrenaline, generally decrease inflammation, it has long puzzled researchers how stress can worsen health problems such as diabetes and autoimmune disease as well as depression and anxiety.

“In the clinic, we have all seen super-stressful events that make inflammatory disease worse, and that never made sense to us,” said Dr. Andrew Wang, assistant professor of internal medicine and immunobiology, and corresponding author of the study.

Cortisol and adrenaline, hormones released in the classic “flight or fight” stress response, generally suppress the immune system, not activate it. These hormones also initiate a massive metabolic mobilization that provides fuel to the body as it addresses threats.

The scientists found that it was an immune system cell—the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6)—that triggers inflammation in times of stress. IL-6 has also been shown to play a role in autoimmune diseases, cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety.

Wang and colleagues began to study the role of IL-6 in stress after a simple observation: When the researchers drew blood from mice, a very stressful procedure, the blood showed elevated levels of the cytokine.

In a series of experiments in mice, designed by Hua Qing and Reina Desrouleaux in Wang’s lab, the researchers found that IL-6, which is usually secreted in response to infections, was induced by stress alone and worsened inflammatory responses in the stressed animals.

And to their surprise, they found that in times of stress IL-6 was secreted in brown fat cells, which are most known for their roles in regulating metabolism and body temperature. When signals from the brain to brown fat cells are blocked, stressful events no longer worsened inflammatory responses.

“This was a completely unexpected finding,” said Qing, a postdoctoral associate at Yale School of Medicine.

The researchers reasoned that IL-6 must play another role in the “fight or flight” response besides triggering inflammation. They learned it also helps prepare the body to increase production of glucose in anticipation of threats. The brown fat cell response causes IL-6 levels to peak well after the metabolic production of glucose and the release of cortisol and adrenaline. This may explain why stress can trigger inflammation even while immune-suppressing hormones are being released, the researchers said.

Blocking IL-6 production not only protected stressed mice from inflammation, it also made them less agitated when placed in a stressful environment.

Wang and his team also suspect IL-6 may play a role in mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Wang observes that many of symptoms of depression, such as loss of appetite and sex drive, mimic those caused by infectious diseases such as the flu—so-called “sickness behaviors”—that can be triggered by IL-6.

Existing drugs designed to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis block the activity of IL-6. Preliminary findings suggest these drugs may help alleviate symptoms of depression, the authors note. There is also preliminary evidence that IL-6 may also play a role in diabetes and obesity as well.

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Excess weight: love handles can protect against diseases – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

Love handles can prevent metabolic and heart diseases

Numerous scientific studies came to the conclusion that Obesity is associated with an increased risk for various diseases. But apparently it depends on where the excess pounds store. Because according to recent findings, so-called “love handles” can be healthy, even before metabolic and cardiovascular diseases protect.

Being overweight can promote diseases. However, it depends strongly on the distribution of fat. The belly fat (visceral fat) is particularly dangerous. It promotes the risk for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension as well as metabolic disorders such as Diabetes. Fat in the hip and thigh (the so-called “love handles”), however, can protect against such diseases.

Metabolism is kept healthy

When fat is stored on the left hip and thigh, this could offer protection from type 2 Diabetes, heart attack, damage to the rest of the vessels in the body and heart weakness, according to the German center for diabetes research (DZD) in a recent communication.

Recent studies suggest, therefore, that larger amounts of fat can contribute in the lower part of the body to keep the metabolism healthy.


The DZD scientist Norbert Stefan has now, in a Review article in the journal “Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology“ scientific findings summarized why and how love handles can help to avoid metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Being overweight can make you sick

As the communication explains, is Obesity disease is an important risk factor for the global increase in type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But not every obese person gets these diseases.


On the other hand, certain slender man have disease, an increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular. Especially people, in which the fat in the abdominal cavity and attaches itself (visceral fat), are more prone to type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Current research results confirm the presumption that the lack of fat on the hips and thighs as another factor for the assessment of the risk an important role.

Increased fat mass in the legs can help protect against diseases

“Recently acquired knowledge in the context of studies in people with rare diseases, such as lipodystrophy, in which hardly any fatty tissue under the skin is formed, and studies of genetically determined fat distribution in the General population, suggest that the lack of ability of fat in the lower part of the body to save, is also very important for the prediction of the emergence of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases,” says Norbert Stefan from DZD, the Tübingen University hospital and the Boston children’s hospital.

“Data of important large-scale genetic studies have recently shown that an increased fat mass on the legs, and can probably protect, regardless of the fat mass within the abdomen, in front of type-2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says diabetologist and endocrinologist. “Current results of a magnetic resonance imaging study, Tübingen, support this hypothesis.”

Unhealthy distribution of fat avoid

Professor Stefan presents in his overview article, the current results of the study and explains the research showing the extent to which the measurement of fat in the lower part of the body, the risk for type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular estimate diseases.

Moreover, it is argued in the publication, what are the mechanisms so that energy is used in various fat depots of the body, or incorrectly in organs such as the liver, pancreas and heart, is saved. So can contribute to age-related changes of Sex hormones and their signalling to a dramatic redistribution of fat from the lower to the upper part of the body.

In addition, the article presents current findings of the genetic and style-related causes, life for a metabolically healthy and unhealthy fat distribution. In addition, the scientists which can help lifestyle-related and pharmacological interventions, to avoid unhealthy fat distribution and possibly undo. (ad)

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Slimming: With these tips you will reach your optimal weight – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

Successful slimming – so it works

To lose weight and to remain slim, should be changed the eating habits permanently. In addition to the reduced calorie intake is also regular exercise is an important factor for weight loss. Experts have some tips that help to burn fat.

During the Corona-lock downs, has accumulated in many people the extra “love handles” will be displayed. The extra pounds to get rid of again, it is important to pay attention to a healthy and balanced and reduced calorie diet and sufficient exercise. The technician health insurance (TK) explains on its website, which tips to heed if you want to burn fat.

Negative Calorie Balance


Without energy, our body does not work, the person needs energy in the Form of food. For those who want to lose weight, it could be the formula for success, therefore, is actually quite simple: eat Less than the body requires! Or conversely, consume more energy than the meals is absorbed so that there is always a negative calorie balance is the day’s result.

Although it sounds like a simple matter of arithmetic, however, is in the implementation not so easy. Because who knows exactly how much energy was consumed in the course of the day? And still less can we understand how a lot of energy as Excess registers, and thus, finally, as the fat is stored.

By regular exercise in the Form of come


Regular exercise helps to get in better shape. As is increased, for example, through regular running training the muscle mass. And more muscle mass, in turn, ensures a higher metabolic rate. That is to say, that is if you are in the Training – even at rest more calories are consumed. The TK has summarized some tips:

Not to be radical: If the weight is reduced to the eating habits, of course, be switched. Foods with low energy density help to be low in calories, saturated. A diet with the goal of “I only eat half as much”, however, is not expedient, because in this emergency situation, the body accesses its fat cells but on muscle cells, in order to win, nevertheless, its required energy. Hardly a diet is finished, the balance is quickly re-gaining more weight.

There goes what: a pound of body fat to lose, you have to roughly 3,500 calories to burn. (For your orientation: A 70-pound runner who consumes a half-hour quickly jogs around 400 calories). The longer a Training at a low intensity it takes, the better the so-called “fat burning”works.

At low intensity, pay attention: it is Important to know that fat only to be burned when enough oxygen there is. And this is according to the professionals only the case if low-intensity training and a balance between oxygen intake and consumption.
A simple rule of thumb: Always only run as fast, that even a conversation is possible. If there is not enough oxygen to fulfil (for example, because the disk makes a round of breathless), can also be no fat is burned.

Professionals can do more: The long, slow endurance Training is a super Fat burner. Anyone who has running experience, you can also change of pace runs. The principle: After a short Break (about five minutes) increases the pace dramatically. Three to five minutes at 85 to 95 percent of the maximum load. Then again, five minutes easy run, marriage is increased.

The afterburn effect to use: interchangeable barrels have a very special after-burn effect! Also up to two hours later, the body uses the energy storage. This “magic formula” should be used, and right after Jogging on carbohydrate-rich food to be dispensed.

Omit what thick: Sounds easy and it actually. Hands away from sugary sweet foods such as sodas, juices, fruit yoghurts or Smoothies. These are immediately turned into unhealthy fatty acids, which, however, the fight was announced.

Low-Carb is not No-Carb: Less carbs on the days plan to have is good, but it should not completely on carbohydrates can be waived. Otherwise, you risk a degradation of the physical and mental capacity. In addition, the cravings rises to extremely fat-rich food.

He who heeds these tips is supposed to reach its optimal weight and also keep. (ad)

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