Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fat Metabolism in the Body

The body has a mechanism called homeostasis that keeps all the blood levels of substances, including fat, within normal levels in the bloodstream. This means that we need a certain amount of fat too.

This homeostatic function is done automatically if all of the organs in the body are functioning normally, and when the fat intake is not in excess.

When there is dysfunction of the organs related to the metabolism of fat, pathologic conditions occur like hypercholesterolemia (elevated blood cholesterol), hypertriglycedemia (elevated blood triglyceride) and many others.

How then is fat metabolized and how does the body get rid of this excess fat?

The following have been proven to be successful in getting rid of excess fats in the body.

1. Through metabolism

When we ingest fats, it travels down from the mouth to the esophagus to the stomach and then to the small intestines. It is only in the small intestines that digestion occurs and is completed with the aid of pancreatic lipase, co lipase, and bile salts/bile acids. If one of these substances is missing, then the conversion of fat (lipid) to its simplest form, the fatty acid, will not occur. The excess fat then is stored in the adipose tissue, and when left unchecked will lead to obesity.

It is only through metabolism, when fats are converted to fatty acids, that they could be utilized and "removed" from the body through conversion to energy and the like.

2. Through exercise

When a person exercises, in the same manner that carbohydrates are utilized and excreted from the body, fats or lipids are also catabolized to acetyl CoA and then eventually to ATP, CO2 and water.

The body gets rid of the fats by converting them into these harmless substances during physical exertion or exercise. That is why when your fat or lipid levels are high, the doctor almost always recommend exercise to reduce the fats in your body by "burning" them.

An hour of jogging can burn around 500 calories of body fat; so if you want to get rid of those excess fats, then exercise! The more vigorous the exercise is the more fats that the body gets rid of.

3. Through selected diet

There are certain food that when taken in, could help the body to get rid of the fats.

These are food that contains citrus extracts, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, (substances with antioxidant effects) and phytochemicals, (substances that helps the immune system).

These substances are found usually in fruits and vegetables. Fruits like oranges, blueberries, apples, grape berries , strawberries, etc. and vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach, onion, eggplant, help a lot in excreting the fat from the body through its rich fiber content, citrus extract and antioxidant actions.

Aside from helping the body get rid of the fats, it has been proven through research that citrus fruits also reduces the propensity to coronary heart disease, cancer and acts as a protection from other diseases by strengthening the immune system.

Getting rid of the fat from one's system must be a combination of activities: body's own metabolism and homeostasis, dieting, and exercising. It is only when these three are in conjunction with each other that the process could be successful.