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A new reason to exercise

I’m continuing to read Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan MD. I’ve got a new reason to exercise while losing weight. Exercise is important because it generates signals to transdifferentiate your fat. This encourages fat cells to redifferentiate into other cells such as muscle cells. Recent studies suggest that the cells of our body are capable of changing purpose as needed. So if the body decides that fat cells are no longer needed but muscle cells are, for instance, it can send signals to the fat cells to relocate and convert themselves into muscle cells. Without exercise, the fat cells simply shrink and wait for the opportunity to suck up calories and grow again.

From the book:

How Fat Cells Change

Nearly every step of the fat cell self-improvement program has been replicated in the lab. Though no one knows exactly how it functions in the body, it might go something like this: First, an individual fat cell loses much, or all, of its lipid stores. Then the shriveled fat cell gets a signal to dedifferentiate into a more mobile cell type, one that is chemically indistinguishable from a stem cell. The cell exits the fat tissue by way of the bloodstream and, once in circulation, is directed to go wherever growth is occurring—a muscle, say. Upon arrival, the cell attaches to the wall of a tiny blood vessel and waits for the stimulus to migrate into the muscle tissue itself. Once it gets the right signal, it moves inside the matrix of the new tissue and redifferentiates to match the other cell types in its new location. Whatever the exact sequence of cell reassignment, the abilities of the magical morphing cell suggest that our body is composed not of cellular specialists, but of generalists, ready to be retrained and reassigned at a moment’s notice. And that’s encouraging news because it tells us that, if we know what we’re doing, our best health may still be ahead of us.

Shanahan MD, Catherine (2011-04-22). Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food (p. 287). Big Box Books.
Transdifferentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow. Song L. FASEB Vol 18, June 2004, 980-2.