The Metabolic Effects of Adipose Tissue as an Endocrine Organ - Dr Hassina Kajee

Presentation overview:

Dr Hassina Kajee is an integrative specialist physician with a private practice and is also a medical director of the Nutrition Network. In this lecture she discusses the role of adipose tissue in metabolic and immunological health.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the endocrine effects of white adipose tissue (WAT)
  • Understand the immunomodulatory effects of WAT expansion
  • Understand the significance of brown adipose tissue (BAT)
  • Know why limiting visceral WAT expansion is so important
  • Learn the strategies to increase BAT

Presentation summary:

In this lecture, Dr Kajee explains the metabolic effects of adipose tissue and warns of potential health dangers associated with the social acceptance of obesity with the “big is beautiful” movement. She shows that adipose tissue is an endocrine and immunological organ, with metabolic complications as adipose storage expands.

Dr Kajee discusses the components, functions, morphology, quantity and sites of white (W), beige and brown (B) adipose tissue (AT). She shows how WAT can transition to beige or brown adipose tissue. She implicates visceral WAT as the biggest contributor to poor metabolic health. Dr Kajee touches on adipose tissue innervation and its link to inflammation. She also reminds us of the main adipokines and their functions, including transcriptional effects, and points to a reference on adrenal-adipose interactions for those who wish to delve deeper into the topic.

Dr Kajee discusses adipocyte number and size changes over the lifecycle and what happens when these changes become dysregulated. Specifically, she delves into adipose hypertrophy, as well as the effects of fatty acid accumulation on various pathways, including insulin signalling. She touches on the metabolically healthy obese. And finally, Dr Kajee delves into the strategies that can be used to increase BAT. 

Downloadable resources:

  1. Presentation
  2. References

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