Could Cell Therapy Prevent Obesity ?
Managing Obesity With Cell Therapy
Obesity is a condition where abnormal or excessive fat is stored in the body, which may lead to serious health consequences. According to WHO, “obesity and overweight are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health“.
Obesity can even raises the risk of early death. It also poses a challenge and made many other medical problems harder to treat.
Around 13% of world’s adult population was obese in 2016, approximately constituting to 650 million adults. In 2016, 39% of men and 40% of women aged 18 and above were overweight, while 18% children and adolescents aged 5-19 years were overweight or obese.
Can Obesity Be Treated?
Obesity is a complex and intricate issue to tackle. In general, it results from a combination of eating too much, getting too little physical activity, and genetics. When the body acquires more calories that it can use, fats are stored as excess over time. It could also be influence by hormonal imbalances or disorders, as some tends to gain weight more easily than others.
Overweight and obesity are preventable provided proper diet is to be taken with regular physical exercises for maintaining health and fitness. Reducing fat, sugar and salt content of processed food are helpful in management of obesity. Although, lifestyle modification is important in the treatment of obesity, we could not argue that effective therapeutic intervention is still needed sometimes to control what has become an obesity epidemic.
On the extreme measures or severe cases, bariatric surgery remains a much sought after, invasive intervention and is performed with obese people using gastric band. However many times, the management of obesity is beyond the scope due to personal or professional reasons, which ultimately led to rely on medications.
Cell Therapy And Obesity Management
The advances in regenerative medicine through cell therapy have created a much more conducive and natural way to manage obesity at its core. The key to managing and treating obesity is to understand how and why we gain weight, especially around the midsection – known as visceral fat. Being overweight brings on a number of potential health risks, but where we carry that extra weight can increase the risk even further.
Visceral fats (type of fat found around the internal organs) as compared to subcutaneous fats (type of fat under the skin layer) tend to carry a much higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Unfortunately, visceral fats are the hardest to lose. Hence it is important that we learn to identify the factors underpinning obesity and how our body would accumulate it overtime, so that preventive approaches could be set in place to prevent and treat it.
Studies have shown that being overweight is not necessarily determined by our food intake. Common knowledge indicates that exercise is the most effective strategy but even then, it mostly burns off sugar, not fat. You can lose fat located in those hard to burn areas like belly, chin, love handles, thighs, and arms through proper diet and intensive exercise, but the best strategy is to change how your metabolism functions.
Over time, cell therapy has been shown to improve metabolic functions to be faster, more efficient and healthier. This allows the body to use energy more effectively and reduce the storage of fats. In the long run, cell therapy reduces the rate of weight gain, maintenance of body weight, or induction of weight loss. The administration of cell therapy that activate biological pathways whose effects culminate in weight loss, can be considered one of the best alternatives to natural weight loss in addressing and preventing obesity.
What is Obesity?
Impaired health due to abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in an individual is defined as obesity. People can be classified as underweight, healthy, overweight and obese usually on the basis of their Body Mass Index (BMI).
BMI is defined as ratio of weight (Kilogram) of person by his/her height (m2). Overweight people have BMI in range of 25 to 30, while obese people have BMI greater than 30.
Depending upon fat accumulation or deposition, obesity can be classified as central and peripheral obesity. Fat accumulated in visceral depots are reason for central obesity and fat distributed subcutaneously in the gluteo-femoral region is reason for peripheral obesity.
Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate processes in our body. They are one of the most important factors in causing obesity. The hormones leptin and insulin, sex hormones and growth hormone influence our appetite, metabolism (the rate at which our body burns kilojoules for energy), and body fat distribution. People who are obese have irregular levels of these hormones that encourage abnormal metabolism and the accumulation of body fat.
Central nervous system is involved in obesity via hormonal co-ordination by hypothalamus. Hypothalamus is a region of brain that controls appetite and maintains energy balance. Different biochemical and neuronal pathways within the hypothalamus are involved in appetite regulation. Various hormones like leptin, ghrelin act on their respective receptors in hypothalamus and control food intake and body weight. Arcuate nucleus neurons of hypothalamus have leptin binding receptors. Neurons of Arcuate nucleus express anabolic neuropeptides, neuropeptide Y, agoutirelated peptide, precursor of alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (proopiomelanocortin). Neurons of Paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus have capability to detect and integrate orexigenic (neuropeptide Y) and anorexigenic (melanocortin) signals. Leptin increase proopiomelanocortin expression and especially the increase in alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone, which decreases feeding and inhibit energy intake or increase energy expenditure. Melanocyte stimulating hormone agonistically binds melanocortin 4 – receptor, and are antagonised by agoutirelated peptide (promote feeding). Leptin decreases neuropeptide Y, which stimulate feeding and decreases energy expenditure. These pathways of leptin involved in regulation of apetite are positively linked to obesity along with leptin resistance. Ghrelin has opposite action as of leptin in the above pathway.
Pathophysiologically, obesity may also be caused due to impairment in the differentiation of potential and biological functions of adipose-derived stem cells. Adipose-derived stem cells are stem cells derived from adult adipose tissue that are replicated as mature adipocytes and differentiate in multiple other cell types including chondrocytes, myocytes, osteocytes beta-cells and neurons. Cell therapy targeting administration of cells is helpful for rectifying impairment in differentiation potential and biological functions of adipose-derived stem cells. It also has potential in other cell based therapy for treatment of obesity.
Imbalance between calories consumed and calories intake is the fundamental cause of obesity and overweight. Eating food rich in fat, long period of inactivity, working continuously in sitting position, less fitness activity are reasons for causing people to become obese.
To conclude, obesity is a chronic (long-term) medical problem of having too much body fat, which increases risk to various health disorders. Obesity is managed by avoiding or reducing processed food, less intake of high salt and sugar food. Various medications for reducing fat weight management are available nowadays.
Cell Therapy, as an exciting regenerative option has been gaining popularity as a potentially effective strategy for the treatment of obesity.
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