Inflammation and Metabolism


In this lecture, we’ll talk about the connection between the immune system and our metabolism. We’ll discuss how inflammation can change how fat cells, or adipocytes, function at a cellular level AND how those adipocytes can contribute to the inflammatory process in a feed-back loop.

We will talk about how exercise in particular is the path forward to breaking this vicious feed-back loop. Gut health will also be a topic of discussion as much of the inflammatory processes in the body often tie back to the gut.

key take aways

At the end of this lecture, you should be able to:

Name the types of immune cells in non-obese fat Name the types of immune cells in obese-fat

Describe the ways in which adipocytes change as the get larger due to increased fatty-acid deposition Describe how exercise can improve metabolic inflammation (there are 5) Understand (at a high level) the connection between the gut, the immune system and fat tissue

Key terms

Inflammation Leaky gut Th2 T cell Treg T cell M2 macrophage Th1 T cell CD8 T cell M1 macrophage Adipocyte Oxidative stress LPS

what is inflammation

hosts response to a perceived pathogenic invasion

inflammation is robust but short-term

Chronic inflammation is different. lower inflammation but constant

chronic viral infections - hiv, leaky gut stress - produces cortisol which suppresses immune responses

Obesity and inflammation

obese have 2-3x higher levels of inflammatory markers CVD. T2D, Several cancers, depression, inactivity

research has shown that adipose tissue isn’t just responding inflammation but generating it

How do adipocytes change??

as adipocytes get larger, oxygen can’t get to some of the tissue mitochondrial damage insulin signaling is messed with- resistance increased eventual death of the adipocyte

inflammation also changes activity levels

decreased physical activity is directly caused by inflammation

activity also reduces inflammation

  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Decreased de novo lipid generation
  • Decreased endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Switching from M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype
  • “Browning” of fat tissue

Could leaky gut be an inflammatory trigger?


LPS, and lower gut barrier

diet increases inflammation, inflammation drives obesity

  • Inflammation changes the biology of adipose tissue
    • Decreased insulin sensitivity
    • Decreased oxygen delivery
    • Increased mitochondrial damage
  • Adipose tissue exacerbates inflammation by producing inflammatory molecules
  • Focus on gut health, liver health, stress reduction and most importantly, exercise to break this cycle
  • Anti-inflammatory supplements may provide benefit (Omega-3 signaling being reasonably well studied)

high fiber focus on liver health — science based liver detox reduce stress exercise

Notes mentioning this note

Join the Newsletter