How to Starve Your Fat Cells, Remove Excess Fat – The Epoch Times
We all want to get rid of excess fat that always seems to be stubborn. However, it is merely a surface phenomenon. In fact, adipose tissue (AT), like the organs in our body, constantly metabolizes and regenerates, and the life of fat cells (adipocytes) is also time limited. Eating the right food can starve the adipocytes to death.
Microscopically, the AT includes not only the white cellulite that we see with the naked eye, but also a huge number of capillaries running through it.
“Fat is like any other tissue—it requires a blood supply to stay alive,” said William W. Li, medical doctor, author of “Eat to Beat Disease,” president of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and former faculty member at Harvard Medical School, in an interview with the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times.
The proportion of fat in a normal person’s body maintains a balance. “When fat growth exceeds its normal proportion in the body, it results in excess AT, which requires more blood supply,” said Li.
The production of fat relies on blood vessels. Specifically, if adipocytes continuously store lipids in lipid droplets, their size will gradually expand leading to adipocytes’ hypoxia. This mild hypoxic state allows the fat to release a series of factors related to angiogenesis and induce new angiogenesis, which in turn transports oxygen and nutrients to cells, enabling AT to grow continually.
As fat proceeds to build up in the body, not only do bones and muscles bear the extra weight, but also the heart’s burden increases. For every pound of weight gained, an additional 5 miles of blood vessels are created to support the survival of these fat cells. Therefore, the heart has to pump blood to more and farther afield cells. A range of cardiovascular health problems, such as increased blood pressure and increased incidence of heart disease arise as the heart faces increasingly difficult tasks.
The seemingly inert and inactive fat literally has a high level of secretion activity.
There are two types of fat in our body: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). According to Li, BAT acts as a heater in the room for the human body, while WAT is an energy storage tissue, as well as a major endocrine organ.
WAT secretes a number of hormones, including leptin, adipsin, angiotensinogen, adiponectin, resistin, etc., and also produces steroid hormones. These hormones influence energy homeostasis, glucose and lipid metabolism, vascular homeostasis, immune responses, and even reproduction. When WAT mass is markedly changed, virtually all WAT-secreted substances are changed and even dysregulated.
Moreover, as a person gets fatter, AT becomes dysfunctional due to a lack of oxygen and inflammation, which releases large amounts of free fatty acids and adipokines into the bloodstream. These substances travel with the blood to the liver, heart, aorta, and other organs, where they eventually store in these tissues and alter their properties, impairing their function.
As a result, to maintain a healthy body, keeping the WAT at a reasonable level is crucial.
Li clearly said, “Laboratory studies have shown that preventing (excess) blood vessel growth can control fat growth.” He said that this approach is identical to the one known as “anti-angiogenesis.” It has been attested that the latter can stop cancer growth by cutting off the blood supply to starve the cancer cells to death.
Many animal experiments have demonstrated that the use of anti-angiogenic substances to inhibit and prevent the angiogenesis of adipocytes can manage and treat obesity caused by a high-fat diet.
Scientists treated mice that had become tubby from eating a high-calorie diet with anti-angiogenic substances for 28 days. Throughout the process, the mice were still fed high-calorie food. The results showed that these otherwise obese mice lost about 30 percent of their body weight, an average of 15 grams lighter for each mouse, after receiving anti-angiogenic treatment. The control group of mice that did not receive the anti-angiogenic treatment continued to gain weight.
Furthermore, these mice treated with the anti-angiogenic substances had reduced postprandial blood glucose levels and insulin secretion levels.
The scientists further conducted experiments using spontaneously obese rhesus monkeys treated with anti-angiogenic substances for 28 days. The monkeys lost seven to 15 percent of their body weight, 38 percent of total body fat, and 27 percent of abdominal fat with a marked improvement in insulin resistance.
Moreover, the scanned imaging of their bodies revealed that the weight loss was mainly achieved through a decrease in fat tissue, and there was no fluid loss or muscle wasting involved.
Many people who are obese may be looking forward to the release of relevant drugs. Li said, “The anti-angiogenesis therapy for fat is still in the research stage of drug development.” He also emphasized in his book that the new therapies may not be suitable for everyone because of cost and availability issues. Moreover, these drugs are designed to treat disease, not prevent problems.
Nevertheless, he gave another convenient and feasible alternative that has been proven effective by many experiments—eating certain foods that contain angiogenesis inhibitors.
Li particularly mentioned one food: green tea.
In the processing of green tea, the tea leaves are heated to inactivate the enzymes. The process of shrinking and drying the leaves prevents the autolysis of the leaves and the oxidation of the constituents. The drying process of the leaves is also conducive to the stabilization of the tea constituents during storage.
Green tea is rich in a variety of catechins. Among them, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, referred to as EGCG, is the most abundant and active catechin, accounting for 50 to 80 percent of the catechin content.
For example, a 250 ml cup of green tea brewed with 2.5 g tea leaves contains 240 to 320 mg of catechins, of which 60 to 65 percent is EGCG. EGCG can downregulate molecular signals related to angiogenesis and induce apoptosis, thus acting as an anti-angiogenic agent.
EGCG is effective against angiogenesis. In laboratory and human clinical studies, catechins have been proven to reduce fat growth.
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis showed that in more than 20 studies on green tea, people who consumed green tea or supplements lost an average of 1.78 kg in body weight and 0.65kg/m² in body mass index (BMI).
In a controlled experiment, postmenopausal American women took green tea extract capsules at doses of 400 or 800 mg of EGCG and small amounts of other catechins daily for two months. Compared to a placebo-controlled group, the women who took EGCG had a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and insulin levels in the blood.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has an anti-angiogenic effect that is one of the factors that effectively inhibits prostate cancer. A concentration of 10 μM of lycopene remarkably inhibits angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, reducing the number of branch points by 55 percent and vessel length by 40 percent.
However, a healthy diet is required to obtain the protective effect of lycopene in tomatoes, as experiments have found that protective effects are lost if a high-calorie obesogenic diet is adopted.
Lycopene is known to promote metabolism and reduce body fat. A study of 374 middle-aged and elderly Dutch men shows that, between lycopene intake and metabolic syndrome, the higher the lycopene intake, the lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. Compared with individuals who consume less lycopene, those with higher dietary lycopene intake have a 45 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome, less waist circumference, visceral, and subcutaneous fat, and lower serum triglyceride levels.
Li also mentioned foods containing chlorogenic acid (CA), such as coffee.
Experiments have shown that CA is associated with the inhibition of the angiogenesis of human cells. The rate of inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor activity by CA at 25 μM and 50 μM is, respectively, 10 percent and 18 percent.
Compared with individuals who consume coffee lower in CA, 150 overweight individuals who consume coffee containing 300 mg of CA daily for 12 weeks have a marked decrease in visceral fat area, total abdominal fat area, body weight, and waist circumference.
In addition, Li recommends these foods: vegetables that contain sulforaphane (cabbage, broccoli, and kale), quercetin (red onions), beta-glucans (mushrooms), and wakame with omega-3 fatty acids. In human studies, these foods have been proven to reduce body fat and improve metabolism. The Mediterranean diet also has a positive anti-angiogenic effect.
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