Does cytokine secretion from body fat level off at some point or is it linear?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 24, 2011 at 5:19 AM

I formed this question after reading the "maximum body fat" question. We know that adipose tissue tends to secrete cytokines as a way of preserving itself, and it takes a toll on health, particularly insulin sensitivity. I'm wondering if the secretion of cytokines is linear, in that 40% body fat would be more inflammation than 30% which would be more than 20%, etc, and if it ever levels off somewhere? I don't think natural selection ever say 50% body fat so I'm not confident that there would be a limiting mechanism, but I don't know that.

Do you?!

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2 Answers


on June 24, 2011
at 12:31 PM

I am no expert, but as a graduate student in exercise science I am forced to read research that includes the interplay between adiposity and various blood markers.

That I am aware of, no one has performed an experiment to the effect of correlation of body fat percentage and cytokine concentrations. However, the working hypothesis appears to be that more fat=more cytokines, amongst many other things, and hence the categorical imperative would have to be there is no top end or limit.

Linear may be conservative, as some hormones/pro-hormones secreted by adipose tissue promote inflammation and more adiposity and hence the relationship could accelerate, ie 30%=x, 40%=x^1.5, 50%=x^2 etc.



on June 24, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Studies have been done on this and it is not linear.....it is directly tied to hormone function of the host. Good question Stabby. Plus one.

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