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Fat stores toxins, so what happens when you start losing it?

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  • Fat stores toxins, so what happens when you start losing it?

    So, I've been wondering, I've read in multiple places that fat cells act as an insulator and protector against toxins. I would assume that this would include environmental toxins, chemical toxins that we ingest with our food, and I've heard it mentioned things like Omega 6's.

    So, what happens in the reverse? When you begin losing weight, are these toxins then released back into the body for the body's other toxin removal systems (lymph etc.) to deal with?

  • #2
    I've read that the toxins do indeed get into circulation. But if you have a healthy primal body, then you should be able to deal with it. This is probably a reason why so many people (including me) are having a hard time dropping those damn last 5 pounds.
    .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
    ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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    • #3
      If you read anything about "toxins," don't take it too seriously unless specific toxins are named.
      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        Yes, the toxins get released. This is one of the reasons many people who lose weight rapidly get hives, itchy skin or small nodules under their skin. Usually these resolve quickly. Obviously, drinking adequate water is recommended and some people also recommend sweating (hot shower or brief sauna) since the skin is your largest excretory gland. There was an interesting writeup and analysis of this as part of the Biosphere2 project where the participants lost weight rapidly due to lack of sufficient calories. Despite eating an all natural diet, blood levels of certain toxins rose.

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        • #5
          Egoldstein could you provide me with links to the write ups that you mentioned? I've actually been sick more in the last few weeks since I've gone primal than I have been before I did and it all seems to be revolving around my lymph system. Sore throat and swollen lymph glands. I think I might be stressing my lymph system out and need to figure out a way to support it.

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          • #6
            fyrespryte, most of the references I've seen are from the Calorie Restriction community talking of effects of CR or fasting, such as this: http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-...prtcl-160.html Take all of it with some grains of salt. Also, if you google "low carb" and any of the symptoms such as "hives" etc... it will take you to discussion forums about what other people experience that they term low carb flu.

            A sore throat and swollen lymph glands sounds more to me to be the onset of a cold or something. There is a bout of pertussis going around here in California. Have you been around sick people?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fyrespryte View Post
              Egoldstein could you provide me with links to the write ups that you mentioned? I've actually been sick more in the last few weeks since I've gone primal than I have been before I did and it all seems to be revolving around my lymph system. Sore throat and swollen lymph glands. I think I might be stressing my lymph system out and need to figure out a way to support it.
              A high percentage of people experience "carb flu" after cutting carbs and going primal. It's common with all low carb diet plans.

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              • #8
                I've had some pretty intense hives whenever I'm in ketosis. I'm suspecting that I'm not actually allergic to ketones. It was at it's absolute worst the first 2 months of this, but I still have hives. The doctor was less than helpful (all he really was interested in doing was giving me a steroid shot. Not even remotely interested in figuring out what the cause was).

                Sometimes I sweat, sometimes I soak, occasionally I smell like something toxic no matter how well I scrub and clean. I'm assuming there's a bunch of amorphous, unnamed gunk that will just need to get out, because I have no intention of staying overweight just to avoid letting toxins (again unnamed and unspecified) into my blood stream.

                I wouldn't put my hives in the category of low carb flu, as I've had them for the past 10 months.
                Last edited by groquette; 06-25-2010, 06:23 PM. Reason: Hah! "My" hives. So possessive... sigh.
                quette's journal

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                • #9
                  @egoldstein - it was a cold...or something. I've been sick for the last four days. I can't think of anyone that I've been around who has been sick, but then I know that people can pass germs without actually being sick. It just seems strange because for all my health problems, before I went primal I managed to avoid getting actual colds relatively well and since the two "colds" that I've had recently have both been centered around me having a sore throat and swollen lymph glands (which is virtually unheard of for me since I had my tonsils out when I was younger) it just seems weird. I recently quit smoking as well and it seems like getting sick recently has caused a lot of cravings and it just got me to wondering if my body might be releasing some smoking grossness too. *shrug* it's all just curiosity on my part, nothing concrete to back it up.

                  I've been a natural health and fasting advocate for years...even did my own 30 day juice fast a year or so ago but over the last six months or so I've become more and more dedicated to finding the science to back stuff up.

                  @grol - I've been eating this way for about two months now so I think perhaps it's not low carb flu...and what I've experienced this week was way more severe than most people report. Like, full on illness for three to four days complete with low grade fever. Definitely an infection of some sort. I either did pick up a bug somewhere or the lymph nodes in my throat/neck area just became overwhelmed with...something.

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                  • #10
                    Fyrespryte -- sounds like we've followed similar paths. I would like to see some good research on this release of fat cell based toxins during weight loss. My understanding was not to worry about it because cholesterol and some other good guy would carry the toxins out through urine. What wasn't handled that way is deposited in bile and excreted in feces or through skin perspiration. My question has always been, why was it stored to begin with if the body had these facilities for removal? Anyway. Get well soon.

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                    • #11
                      groquette -- wow sorry to hear about that and your doctor. Have your read up on elimination diets to perhaps isolate the cause?

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                      • #12
                        My question has always been, why was it stored to begin with if the body had these facilities for removal?
                        I'm guessing that if your body is stressed enough, storing it in adipose tissue is the easiest/least costly. But if you're depleting adipose tissue your body may not have a choice and will need to deal with it in other ways. Then again, if you are depleting adipose tissue you probably have a bunch of energy that you can put towards the other facilities for removal.

                        Or it could all be a myth and we don't store toxins in fat cells :-)
                        quette's journal

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                        • #13
                          My understanding of the why, again...unsubstantiated, was that the body's systems could only handle so much before being overwhelmed and that that was why it would be stored in fat, away from the organs.

                          And sometimes those systems don't work efficiently anyways. I'm a massage therapist and when I was in school, they taught us about fascia and how it was linked to the lymph system. Fascia can become restricted however, so the spaces within it where fluid would carry away cellular waste and debris would shrink.

                          And thanks!

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                          • #14
                            grokette, wow...sorry to hear about your hives! What a crap choice to have to make...deal with the hives, or stay the same weight. I was doing some googling on hives and ketosis and I saw that an alarming amount of people are dealing with the same thing! Very strange and it really makes me wonder what's causing it. That's a very specific response for it to just be a response to general "toxins." But perhaps it is something specific that the body exudes during the breakdown of fat.

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                            • #15
                              I'd actually be extremely curious to find out the exact mechanism / underlying cause, but the doctor(s) don't seem interested at all. Maybe if I go talk to some of the research scientists I had as professors or something they'd be able to point me in the direction of someone who would be doing the right type of research or lab work or something.
                              quette's journal

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