The Spillover Effect
Links Obesity to Diabetes Free fatty acids – meaning free fat circulating in the bloodstream, not packaged into triglycerides – results in inflammation: toxic fat breakdown products and oxidative stress, which can gum up the insulin receptor pathway and lead to insulin resistance in our muscles. And insulin resistance is what causes prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. As the level of fat in the blood rises, the body’s ability to clear sugar from our blood drops. Where is this fat in our blood that’s wreaking all this havoc coming from? It comes from the fat that we eat and the fat that we wear. The number of fat cells we have stays constant in adulthood. It’s interesting – the way they figured
this out is by measuring the amount of radioactive
carbon trapped in our DNA from all the nuclear bomb tests. Anyway, after massive weight loss, our fat cells shrink as they offload fat, but the number stays the same. Conversely, when we gain weight, our fat cells just stretch as we pack more and more fat into each individual fat
cell. So when our belly, butt or thighs get big we’re not adding more fat cells; we’re just cramming more fat into each cell. At a certain point our cells become so bloated that they spill fat back into the bloodstream. This is an illustration of the so-called spillover effect. Not only does an obese person have more fat on their bodies, but they’re constantly spilling that fat into their bloodstream. So that could be the link between obesity and diabetes. Fat is spilling out from our fat cells and gets lodged in our muscle cells, leading to the insulin resistance that promotes the onset of type 2 diabetes. Or the fat can enter our bloodstream through our mouth. If you put people on a low carb diet, fat builds up in their muscles within two
hours, compared to a low fat diet, and insulin sensitivity drops. And the more fat in the muscle, the lower the ability to clear sugar from
the blood. It doesn’t take years for this to happen, just hours after fatty foods go into our mouths our body has problems using insulin. A fat-rich diet can increase fat in the blood and this increase is accompanied by a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Studies clearly demonstrate that the fat in the blood directly inhibits blood sugar transport and usage in our muscles, which is responsible for clearing about 85% of the sugar out of blood. These findings also indicate an important role of nutrition, particularly increased consumption of fat, for the development of insulin resistance. Normally we only have 10 to 50 micromoles of free fat floating around in our blood stream at any
one time, but those who are obese are constantly spilling fat out into their bloodstream. But we can reach those same levels in our blood eating a high fat diet. So a skinny person eating a low carb diet can have the same level of fat in their blood as obese people do. Similarly being obese is like eating some horrible bacon and butter diet all day, because obese persons are constantly spilling fat into their bloodstream no matter what goes in their mouth.