Not All Fat Cells Are Created Equal
Date: April 27, 2017
In previous blogs, you’ve learned about subcutaneous and visceral fat and about brown fat and white fat. Let’s break fat down further. Did you know that there are different types of white fat cells? White fat cells are not all created equal.
Researchers have uncovered crucial distinctions between white fat cells. The differences between these white fat cells carry important implications in many medical endeavors, such as fat grafting, pathophysiology and stem cell harvesting. Likewise, at Sculpt Away, we use our knowledge of these distinctions in our treatment plans for non-invasive body shaping.
Different Characteristics – Types of White Fat Cells
Studies of subcutaneous white fat cell deposits yielded three (3) Types (Type 1,2,3) of white fat cells based upon these 3 characteristics of the fat cells:
- 1. the amount of lipids present in the white fat cell;
- 2. the collagen component (fibrous tissue) of the fat cell (“collagenic basket”); and
- 3. the functional activity in the areas of the white fat cell deposits.
Researchers also noted an additional difference between the white fat cells that were more superficial versus those that were located in a deeper layer, as well as differences based upon the age of the patient.
Type 1 – Abdominal Area (Metabolic Fat)
This fat is abdominal fat. Researchers refer to the fat located in the abdominal area as metabolic fat due to its large-sized fat cells and very poor collagenic (fibrous) component. These cell’s membranes adhere to each other and are not wrapped by a “collagenic (fibrous) basket.” These cells are fed through microcirculation formed by thin cell wall capillaries.
Type 2 – Structural Fat
Structural white adipose (fat) tissue varies by area on the body, as it plays different roles based upon surrounding structures. In general, structural fat is more fibrous as it is wrapped in a collagenic (fibrous) mesh and structural fat can be well-vascularized (contain networks of blood vessels). Structural fat is located in the inner knees and thighs, arm pits, breasts, pectoral area, areas over the trochanter at the hip.
Type 3 – Fibrous Fat
Fibrous fat has a significant fibrous (collagenic) component. The fat cells are smaller and wrapped in a thick fibrous shell. These fat cells are typically located in areas of mechanical stress (areas where there is a lot of motion & stress, i.e. outer thighs, arms, knees, pectoral area, ‘buffalo hump,’ and other areas involved in motion and muscle activity).
Other Factors Affecting White Fat Cell Properties
Researchers have also found that regardless of the type of fat, the deeper-laying fat contains more of a fibrous component. Additionally, studies revealed that the older the patient, the more fibrous the fat regardless of the type and location.
Not all fat is created equal. The location of the fat, the properties of the fat (i.e. amount of fibrous component), the amount of fat, and the age of the person (& other considerations such as goals & budget) dictate the appropriateness of a treatment plan. Expertise, qualifications and experience matter. All (wo)men may be created equal, but no two persons are the same when it comes to body shaping. Trust Sculpt Away, where our body shaping experts use their knowledge, experience and education & training to customize a unique and appropriate treatment plan for you.
To learn more about body shaping, call Sculpt Away in San Antonio at 210-227-3051 or visit www.SculptAway.com.