Yes, this process is as damaging and tragic as it sounds. . .
In this article I will discuss how to prevent and even reverse lipotoxicity. If you have not read the first article, I highly recommend that you go back and read through it. You can view the article by clicking the following link: Lipotoxicity: Could this be the Cause of Your Fatigue and Disease? For those who have already read it, allow me to list the key points of the previous article in order to jog your memory:
1. Lipotoxicity occurs when fat enters non-fat cells and builds up to toxic levels
2. Lipotoxicity leads to diabetes, fatty liver, heart disease, heart failure, fatigue and kidney dysfunction
3. Lipotoxicity occurs almost entirely due to poor diet and lifestyle
The three main causes of lipotoxicity are:
1. Too much unhealthy fat in the diet
2. Too many unhealthy refined carbohydrates in the diet
3. Too little exercise and activity
Before we get into the prevention and treatment of this condition, how do you know if you are suffering with lipotoxicity?
There are many signs and symptoms of lipotoxicity, however, it is important to note that you do not necessarily have to have symptoms in order to be in a lipotoxic state. This process likely starts off as a symptomless state. As fat accumulates in cells of organs and tissues, you likely reach a “tipping point” where symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion during activity begin to show up. Then the process of lipotoxicity may begin to show up as “named diseases” such as heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, hypertension, etc. Below I list the key ways to tell if you may be suffering with lipotoxicity:
1. If you are overweight or diabetic, you can assume with near certainty that you suffer with some degree of lipotoxicity.
2. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease
3. If you have been diagnosed with fatty liver
4. If your cholesterol numbers are out of balance
5. If you have elevated triglycerides
6. If you suffer with fatigue with no known cause
7. If you find it difficult to exercise for prolonged periods of time
Now that you know how to identify it, how do you reverse it?
The study of lipotoxicity is in its infancy. We are just now learning why it develops and how it triggers damage in the cell. In the body, fat can exist in two main forms: free fatty acids or triglycerides. When fat is carried into the cell as a free fatty acid, it is typically changed into a storage form of fat called a triglyceride. Fat cells have a nearly endless ability to convert free fatty acids into triglycerides, however, other cells, such as the muscle, pancreas, kidney, liver and heart are limited in the rate at which they can convert free fatty acids into triglycerides. It appears that it is the accumulation of free fatty acids in the cell that leads to disease and death of that cell.
If we could potentiate the conversion of free fatty acids into triglycerides within the cell then we could interrupt the damage caused by fat accumulation.
In fact, there is a way to achieve this which leads us to the first technique that I will suggest to limit the damage that free fatty acids can cause in the cell. Scientists discovered that one way to combat toxicity from fat was to fight fire with fire. They discovered that by providing the body with healthy fats, specifically omega-9 (extra virgin olive oil) and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil/flax oil) then you could enhance the body’s ability to turn free fatty acids into triglyceride and prevent lipotoxicity from damaging and ultimately killing the cell.
This may be one reason why the Mediterranean diet and omega-3 fatty acids protect the body from disease! More on this when we talk about supplements.
The battle does not stop there because although I believe that these healthy fats will significantly limit the damage caused by the buildup of unhealthy fats in the cell, if your diet continues to remain high in bad fats you will ultimately overwhelm the defenses provided by healthy fat. I lead with this tip because it is easy to implement and could provide rapid protection while you work on your lifestyle and diet.
The next tip is to begin to exercise aerobically for as long as you can. By exercising aerobically, you are doing three things:
1. Burning fat while you exercise which will IMMEDIATELY begin to unclog the cells of the muscles and organs
2.Triggering the body to build more fat burning and metabolizing enzymes throughout the body.
3. Building more mitochondria of the cell (the engines that burn fat for energy)
Basically, you are turning the body into a fat metabolizing machine! In order to optimize these results the key here is to exercise for as long a period of time as possible at a rate that does not leave you overtly breathless. You should be able to maintain a conversation fairly comfortably. If you exercise too aggressively you will shift the fuel that your body is using for energy from fat into carbohydrates. In addition, you will cause the body to build more sugar burning enzymes rather than fat burning enzymes. Although building more sugar burning enzymes is not a bad thing for health, for the purposes of reversing lipotoxicity we want the body to build more fat burning enzymes in order to burn away the fat that is clogging up the cells. Your ultimate goal is to build up to at least 45 minutes of walking every day. I realize that many of you can hardly get up the stairs, this is because of the lipotoxicity! You must realize that the very problem of lipotoxicity is your biggest obstacle to reversing it. You are tired due to fat clogged cells, you will have to push through the fatigue in order to get to the other side.
The next step is to tackle the diet. You must cut out refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Refined carbohydrates are foods such as:
Unhealthy fats include:
3. Vegetable Oils (canola, safflower, peanut)
4. Red mea
These foods cause insulin to be produced in excessive levels which causes fat to enter the cells at a high rate. You must limit the intake of these refined carbohydrates in order to reverse lipotoxicity. Instead, reach for more low glycemic carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. It is also wise to eat lean proteins.
Now let’s discuss supplements that we can use to reverse lipotoxicity.
1. Fish oil – You should be taking fish oil with each main meal of the day. 2 capsules with each meal should be sufficient to counteract some of the negative effects of lipotoxicity. You may also benefit by combining the fish oil with a vegetarian formula called Udo’s 3,6,9 Oil Blend by Flora. This formula will provide more omega-3 fatty acids along with omega-9 fats. Take two softgels with each meal. You may be able to get away with fish oil alone, however, if you have significant problems then I recommend combining the two.
2. L-Carnitine tartrate – Carnitine helps the cells to metabolize fat in the mitochondria. The recommended dose is 1,000 mg twice daily. (Call 888-794-4325 for this product).
3. Hepatopro by Life Extension Foundation – This formula contains a special form of phosphatidylcholine which helps to emulsify fat and reverse some of the fatty buildup in the liver, an organ that is crucial in the metabolism of fat. Take 1 softgel with each meal.
Liopotoxicity is a direct cause of poor vitality and disease that is the result of excessive intake of unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates and lack of sufficient activity. The fix will not come from a prescription pad, you must change your diet and lifestyle in order to fix the problem. This article covers a number of tools and techniques for freeing your cells from the oppression of fat and lipotoxicity.