Fat cells and fat storage are not simply about calories burned and excess calories stored as fat. The fat cell is not simply a garbage can for fat storage. The fat cell is a dynamic cell that interacts with our hormonal glands with the sensitivity of a symphony conductor. Imagine each gland, the adrenals, the pituitary in the brain, the thyroid, the thymus as sections of instruments in the orchestra with the fat cells as the percussion section. If one section of the orchestra dominates or is too weak, the sound of the orchestra is off.

Our body works the same way to constantly restore balance. The purpose of this and subsequent articles is to help you understand the amazing dynamics of the fat cell, as it goes way beyond diet and exercise alone! We will look at how the balance of your body’s hormones, digestion of protein, sugar, fat, vitamin, minerals, and challenges in eliminating toxins, and how our level of inflammation directly affects our fat storage!


Fat is essential for our body. It protects our organs from each other and from the impact of daily living. It stores caloric reserves for times of perceived starvation and stress. This evolutionary protective mechanism is why our ancient ancestors were able to survive. However, in this modern age where non-nutritious high glycemic foods are readily available, and stress and toxins play havoc with our hormones, our fat cells lead us into trouble not just for aesthetics but for hormonal and metabolic reasons.

Excess fat does more than simply look bad like cellulite or burden the heart from the excess weight. It becomes a hormonal trigger leading to more fat deposition and inflammation. The fat cell becomes the conductor taking over the symphony! Fat increases our death rate not just from heart attack but from increased risk of cancers and other inflammatory disorders such as chronic fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, irritable bowel, acid reflux, allergies, eczema, arteriosclerosis, and psoriasis to name a few. Excessive fat creates a metabolic downward spiral in our health leading to degenerative diseases and pre-mature death. It also robs us of the quality and vitality in our life.


Fat cells store toxins! If we try to shrink our fat cells by restricting our caloric intake and increase our energy consumption, we may not loose much in the way of percentage fat because we have not eliminated the intra and extra-cellular toxins. Fat cells use fat and intracellular fluid to dilute toxins in the fat cell. The body will only allow the excretion of fat and fluid to the extent that it does not concentrate toxins in the cell. This is why many people reach plateaus and cannot shrink fat deposits on their body.

Toxins come from what we eat in the form of preservatives, artificial flavorings, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metal and environmental chemicals. They come from chemical preservatives in our toothpaste and mouthwash too. But what we eat, if it is not metabolized and broken down well by our digestive tract, becomes a toxin. When we eat protein, carbohydrates, and oil, our digestive tract through digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid in our stomach, breaks protein down into simple amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars such as glucose, lactose, and oils into simple fatty acids. If we are low in hydrochloric acid and are deficient in digestive enzymes (and most of us are, especially as we age), we are unable to break down our food into these simple amino acids, sugars and fatty acids. These larger unbroken molecules are unable to enter our cell membranes and have to be eliminated by the body.

Toxins also come from what we put on our skin, the chemical byproducts of petrochemicals in cosmetics, hair care products, soaps, deodorants, colognes and perfumes. We breathe in toxins like lead daily from car exhaust and industrial pollution. If we smoke we take in approximately 3500 chemicals per cigarette! Drugs (over the counter, prescription and recreational) and alcohol add to our liver’s toxic burden.

Normal biochemical processes of living create toxins that come from digestion, hormone synthesis and recycling, vitamin synthesis and degradation, and mineral metabolism. However, many of us are challenged in our digestive and detoxification metabolism. If we have allergies, infections, inflammatory disorders such as asthma, eczema, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, acid reflux, chronic fatigue, lyme disease, MS, autoimmune disorders such as lupus,  Hashimoto’s, or symptoms of chronic inflammation such as irritable bowel, constipation, seasonal allergies, itchy skin, rashes, yeast infections, bloating, hypoglycemia, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, PMS, then we definitely have challenges in some aspect of our digestive and/or detoxification metabolism. This is a main reason why we develop many of these disorders!

Normal daily living also involves killing invading pathogens in the body such as bacteria that latch onto our food, grow on our toothbrushes, or yeast and mold or virus we come into contact through body secretions and surface contact. When we cannot eliminate these dead pathogens, called microbial metabolites, they act as toxins and accumulate in the body, in our liver, organs, connective tissue and fat cells! We don’t have to be sick to have a back log of pathogens in our system needing to be eliminated.

Our cumulative exposure and cumulative metabolic back up has a direct impact on what we store in our fat cells!


Think of our metabolic processes like a conveyor belt. Our liver is the main organ that processes toxins for elimination by the colon and kidneys through our stool and urine. We also eliminate toxins through sweat. If this conveyor belt is piled high with toxins from a recent “backlog” then the liver will become challenged to eliminate these toxins.

If this conveyor belt cannot move at a smooth rate, because the liver needs to “burn” certain ingredients to break down and process toxins, then we become challenged to store toxins. Unfortunately our soil is depleted of core nutrients essential for proper detoxification. Therefore, our diet is mostly deficient in these core nutrients: magnesium, selenium, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, B6, B12, and 5-tetrahydroxy-folate. Deficiencies in these core nutrients directly hinder our ability to bind and excrete toxins. The body goes into storage mode to protect our vital organs from the damaging effects of these toxins.

Genetic defects in our liver detoxification pathway also react with our toxic load and immune system to accelerate genetic impairments that cause key nutritional deficiencies leading to our liver’s inefficiency in detoxification. Add this factor to the fact that our immune system can cause inefficient metabolism of proteins, vitamins and minerals essential for the detoxification process, you begin to see what looks like a Pandora box of complex interrelated factors impairing our ability to detoxify.

In future chapters we will discuss factors to consider in any weight loss or maintenance program that includes your liver and how you detoxify, your brain, your hormones, stress, insomnia, digestive metabolism, blood sugar regulation,  silent infections and inflammation, emotions, and your genotype!

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.


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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan