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Obesity is an inflammatory metabolic disorder that is characterized by body mass index greater than 30% resulting from excessive body fat stored in adipose tissue.

Q: What is body fat?

A: Body fat is part of the body that functions as a reserve of stored energy. It is composed of fat cells, called adipocytes, having thin membranes between these cells. Adipocytes expand to store fat and shrink as fat is released as needed into the bloodstream for other body cells to use for metabolizing energy.

Each adipocyte contains a drop of triglyceride which is a type of lipid (fat). Triglycerides are a normal component in the bloodstream and, as such, are transported wherever needed as a form of energy. Excess triglycerides are the form of fat that is stored.

Initially, fat that is eaten in the diet is changed by digestive enzymes into the triglyceride form which is a molecule composed of three fatty acids and glycerol. Triglycerides are then absorbed through the small intestinal wall to be delivered to the liver. Of note, the liver can make triglycerides from excess protein and carbohydrates eaten in a meal, especially sugar and alcohol. The liver on the other hand makes cholesterol from triglycerides.

Triglyceride levels in the blood generally increase as weight increases. It is thought that an elevated blood triglyceride level hampers the body’s ability to feel full or satisfied with food that is eaten. Elevated triglyceride levels also increase the risk of clot formation because they cause the blood to become thicker. A normal triglyceride blood level is 150 mg/dL.

The causes of obesity are complex and varied. Those related to gluten sensitivity are discussed below.

What Is Obesity In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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