This theory seems to have first showed up in 2014, and is now gaining traction in the low carb /keto /evolutionary medicine circles.
It is a more evolved explanation of our metabolism and the modern epidemic of metabolic diseases. It explains why diets work, whether they are low carb or low fat. It explains why some people can get massively fat and still not become diabetic. It explains why our modern diet (high fat+ high carb) is the kiss of death. It also explains why India and China are going to get hammered so badly by diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
You’ll have to go back and read through the earlier post titled “GOOD FAT, BAD FAT”
for a short explanation on visceral and subcutaneous fat.
Basically, the theory states that each individual has a personal threshold for the amount of fat that they can safely store, subcutaneously.
Beyond that limit, it starts to spill over into visceral fat. And visceral fat (which is very poor at the storage function, compared to subcutaneous fat) then produces chemical mediators and hormones that lead to metabolic syndrome ( atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, gout, PCOD, Alzhiemers are the most famous)
The personal fat threshold is a genetic set point. It can’t be altered very significantly in an individual. I suspect however, that, with epigenetic effects, the personal fat threshold among successive generations will increase rapidly, providing some sort of protection to future generations against metabolic disease. Provided that the conditions remain the same. However, looking at the rate of change in our environment, lifestyle and diet, the number of children going to benefit from the epigenetic effects will be very small.
Getting back to practical applications of this theory in weight loss and dietary control (and reversal?) of metabolic disease –
Visceral fat responds very quickly to dietary interventions. Blood glucose drops to normal within days of low carb and intermittent fasting. Triglycerides normalise in 3-4 weeks, and fatty liver reduces or goes away in 3 months. All of these are personal observations from patients I’ve had on the low carb diet.
These improvements in metabolic health occur much faster than actual weight loss. The weight loss may be delayed, but the blood markers and drug requirements come down really fast.
Subcutaneous fat isn’t that much of a threat to the body and health, so it is burnt away last. Which is why that six pack remains so elusive.
People with less visible body fat can be unhealthy without knowing it. This is what leads to completely surprising and tragic heart attacks in people who look thin and have been exercising regularly.
Here are some methods to find out
1. High triglycerides : HDL ratio (greater than 2:1)
2. 2. High fasting insulin
3. 3. High CRP
4. 4. Fatty liver on ultrasound
5. 5. You’re already suffering from manifestations of metabolic syndrome
6. 6. Coronary calcium score (I need to read more about this one)
How to fix the problem? That’ll be another post.
But here’s a hint – fix your diet, sleep and lifestyle