Fat cells, commonly blamed for a number of diseases, also may aid in the bodys defense against illnesses such as diabetes and cancer, according to Purdue University researchers.
Purdue researchers have determined that fat cells in humans defend against biochemical processes involved in illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. The research team is headed by Michael Spurlock (left), professor of animal sciences, and Kolapo Ajuwon, a doctoral student. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)
Rather than contributing to disease, fat cells, or adipocytes (pronounced ah-dip-poe-sights), normally function as part of the immune system and help control lipid accumulation, so they actually may benefit human health, said Michael Spurlock, animal sciences professor.
"Adipocytes can be functional and beneficial without creating obesity," Spurlock said. "The key is that we want plenty of adipocytes to meet whatever immunological and endocrinological needs they fulfill, but we dont want them to overaccumulate lipid."
Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
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