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  1. #1
    Registered User imposslimbo's Avatar
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    Apoptosis - Killing Fat Cells, Is It Real & How Can You Induce It?

    Recently I've read a few articles and forum posts about apoptosis, the dying of cells, or specifically for my reading, the killing of fat cells. Many people trying to lose fat who were overweight as a child or teen know the discouragement of hearing that fat cells never die, they only shrink and once they shrink they constantly want to get back to their original size. When hearing that news, it feels like an already uphill battle just grew steeper into a mountain. So to hear that it may be untrue, that it may be possible to make fat cells die gives one hope.

    The first question is, is it true? Can you really kill off fat cells in adulthood?

    The second question is, if it is true, how do you do it? Low Carb/High Protein diet with intense cardio and strength training workouts? That's what we have to do to lose fat anyway so that would be great news if that also killed the fat cells instead of only shrinking them.

    The third question, which I didn't think of until reading a thread on another forum, if you do manage to kill of some fat cells, will the body just create some new ones to replace them? (I don't mean you slack up on your diet and exercise and start gaining fat back, I mean as a biological response to the fat cells dying.)
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  2. #2
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    To lose fat, you will want to create a negative energy balance which means that your energy expenditure is greater than your energy intake. In other words, eat at a caloric deficit because calories in versus calories out is what ultimately causes fat loss. When I have learned about apoptosis, it was mainly geared towards bacterical organisms and such, never heard anything about fat cells and apoptosis related.
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  3. #3
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    All this talk of fats becomes quite tedious.

    Fat is fat. I don't care if it's brown fat or any other fat. The idea is still the same. Eat less than you need you lose fat.


    If you're interested in apoptosis of fat cells look up Cold Thermogenesis.
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    Apoptosis is irrelevant. As others mentioned, you eat at a deficit, you lose fat. When enough fat is lost that you are happy you eat at maintenance and your weight remains constant or you eat in a slight surplus while lifting heavy weights and build muscle. Regardless of how many fat cells you have, you can't put on fat if you don't overeat.
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  5. #5
    Registered User imposslimbo's Avatar
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    So the answer to my question is, it is not true, you can't kill them? I understand the advice you're giving me and it is appreciated. Thank you. It doesn't, however, answer the question about killing fat cells. What you have recommended are ways to shrink fat cells. It's all true of course and very good information, but still, it doesn't speak to the topic of killing fat cells. Is that even possible? I know shrinking them is very possible by eating a calorie deficit and burning calories with strength straining and cardio. However, the point of posting this thread was to start a topic asking about the killing of fat cells, not shrinking them.
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    Liposuction will kill them once and for all
    There is always someone less fortunate, with real hunger, with real adversity, who made something of themselves. What is your excuse?
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    Sam the Eagle Znik's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by imposslimbo View Post
    So the answer to my question is, it is not true, you can't kill them? I understand the advice you're giving me and it is appreciated. Thank you. It doesn't, however, answer the question about killing fat cells. What you have recommended are ways to shrink fat cells. It's all true of course and very good information, but still, it doesn't speak to the topic of killing fat cells. Is that even possible? I know shrinking them is very possible by eating a calorie deficit and burning calories with strength straining and cardio. However, the point of posting this thread was to start a topic asking about the killing of fat cells, not shrinking them.
    There is no definite science on it yet, there are some drugs that can cause apoptosis of fat cells, but it comes with dangerous side-effects and slightly uncontrollable apoptosis.
    Some research says excess fat cells die over a long period of time, some say you dont gain any extra fat cells apart from what you are genetically born with.
    There is very little proper controlled experiments/research on weight loss, fat cell apoptosis, and long term fat loss. Tons of random small scale poorly controlled studies but not much that is done properly.
    Most research these days is purely focusing on what causes weight gain and obesity and the disease that follow. Along with all the psychological stuff.
    So until they actually start researching fat loss and long term fat loss with proper studies and controlled experiments a lot of the things that follow is mostly speculation.

    But what most research concludes with especially later ones, is that fat cells does way more for bodily functions than just storing energy. So having more fat cells is not necessarily a bad thing.

    As for fat cells wanting to grow back to original size, that branches more towards the "set point weight" for your body theory, where if you go below that point it wants to get back to that point and most likely setting the set weight higher to protect against another famine (weight loss). Bodily long term survival theory kind of thing, it does have some backing from controlled experiments but nothing final as of yet.

    But all in all, even if your fat cells "wanted" to get back to size, you would still have to eat enough excess calories to fill them. Control your diet and calories and you control your fat.
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  8. #8
    Registered User imposslimbo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Liposuction and drugs are out of the question. I saw a reference to a statement made by a doctor appearing on an Oprah program in which said doctor claimed it was possible to kill fat cells with prolonged strict diet and exercise program. Supposedly the doctor claimed that shrinking the fat cells, as has been mentioned by several times above, and keeping them shrunk for a long, long time will eventually lead to fat cell apoptosis in a natural and very healthy manner. I was wondering if this statement were true. If all the hard work, over a long period of time pays off with the fat cells eventually dying off for good, that is a strong motivator to push through month after month, year after year.

    Has anyone actually seen or read this statement from this unnamed doctor from an Oprah program. Oprah is really popular, really, really popular, so I figure if a doctor made such a statement on one of her programs, then the statement itself should be verifiable if not the validity of the statement. In other words, the fact that he said it should be able to be proven while the truth of the content may not be so easily verified. Thanks.
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  9. #9
    Registered User urukhai29's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by imposslimbo View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Liposuction and drugs are out of the question. I saw a reference to a statement made by a doctor appearing on an Oprah program in which said doctor claimed it was possible to kill fat cells with prolonged strict diet and exercise program. Supposedly the doctor claimed that shrinking the fat cells, as has been mentioned by several times above, and keeping them shrunk for a long, long time will eventually lead to fat cell apoptosis in a natural and very healthy manner. I was wondering if this statement were true. If all the hard work, over a long period of time pays off with the fat cells eventually dying off for good, that is a strong motivator to push through month after month, year after year.

    Has anyone actually seen or read this statement from this unnamed doctor from an Oprah program. Oprah is really popular, really, really popular, so I figure if a doctor made such a statement on one of her programs, then the statement itself should be verifiable if not the validity of the statement. In other words, the fact that he said it should be able to be proven while the truth of the content may not be so easily verified. Thanks.
    I've read that before(adipocyte death) don't remember where, but in the end is irrelevant because if you start over eating , fat cell wills reproduce, to remain lean you are gonna have to take care of your diet long term, specially in this modern toxic environment of junk food, it doesn't matter the amount of fat cells you have at any particular point
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  10. #10
    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    I've never seen anything to suggest that creating a new fat cell is significantly more "costly" for the body than refilling an old one. If that's true, there is no advantage to be had in killing them, nor any disadvantage in having them around.
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  11. #11
    Registered User imposslimbo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urukhai29 View Post
    I've read that before(adipocyte death) don't remember where, but in the end is irrelevant because if you start over eating , fat cell wills reproduce, to remain lean you are gonna have to take care of your diet long term, specially in this modern toxic environment of junk food, it doesn't matter the amount of fat cells you have at any particular point
    So if the fat cells eventually die rather than remaining in your body in a shrunken, depleted state, that would have no effect on your appetite or metabolism at all? I was under the impression that once shrunken flat, fat cells constantly want to refill, crave to grow back to their previous state or beyond. I understand that you can't start back overeating or else the fat cells will fill back up or reproduce. I also understand that staying true to your nutrition plan and exercise routine is the key to this. What I am asking is if doing what we all agree needs to be done anyway, will eventually result in the fat cells dying off in the long run. Also, what I'm asking is if the fat cells die off, will that have a positive effect on metabolism, fat & sugar cravings, or any other nutrition and/or health factors? And now I'm asking if fat cells once shrunken and depleted to "flat," do those cells ache to fill back up with fat?

    Again, I hear what you're saying about nutrition and exercise being the key to shrink fat cells and that not going back to bad habits will keep allow them to stay shrunk. What I am asking about is if the things that shrink fat cells all the way down, done over a long period of time (years) will eventually cause those fat cells to die because the body realizes they are no longer needed. Also I'm asking about any positive bodily reactions to the fat cells dying like metabolism increase, cravings decrease, etc. Thanks.
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  12. #12
    Registered User urukhai29's Avatar
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    long term ,prbly some will die(if you stay lean for years) but by that time you will have your sugar/fat cravings under control since you have been successful at being lean for years,none of that stuff is well researched its just guesses but if I had to guess i will say the metabolic impact of some fat cells dying would be minimal to non existant,now the metabolic impact of you being lean is huge, awesome insulin sensitivity, great nutrition partitioning etc etc
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  13. #13
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    Once again everyone is thinking extremely difficult. Don't try to find shortcuts or miracle solutions.
    If something really works or is possible the world will know immediately.
    Right now all you can do is eat at a deficit and lift your damn ass off
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  14. #14
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    I doubt fat cells "crave" to get the energy replenished. Your body "might" want to gain the fat back, from a pure survival aspect.

    In my opinion all this craving on sugar/fat is weak will power, from a evolutionary perspective the intense craving and hunger etc. makes no sense to me. Since back in the days going hungry for several days would be fairly normal (hunter/gatherer era) if everyone was weak and depressed when food was not available I dont see society lasting very long.

    It is only recently that we have such a overflow of food, and especially calorie dense food. Our brain loves that stuff since we are mostly programmed to eat and gain weight when food is available in order to prepare for when it is not. I would rather put a focus on learning to control hunger and cravings rather than hoping for fat apoptosis.
    Best way to control cravings is to be active, when you are busy you tend to not think about food, and for increasing metabolism putting on lean mass does that.

    Getting rid of fat cells will not boost your metabolism nor will it decrease cravings, if lack of fat cells did that, then no one would get fat in the first place.
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    Originally Posted by imposslimbo View Post
    I was under the impression that once shrunken flat, fat cells constantly want to refill, crave to grow back to their previous state or beyond.
    A cell doesn't want or crave anything. It's just a cell.
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    Originally Posted by NLnemesis View Post
    Once again everyone is thinking extremely difficult. Don't try to find shortcuts or miracle solutions.
    If something really works or is possible the world will know immediately.
    Right now all you can do is eat at a deficit and lift your damn ass off
    The statement that really peeked my interest on this topic specified proper nutrition and exercise routines over the long term (consistently over years) was the way to kill fat cells. That's no short cut. Maybe it seemed like I was asking about the easy way out or a short cut, but I most definitely was not. This from the question I originally posted:
    Originally Posted by imposslimbo View Post
    if it is true, how do you do it? Low Carb/High Protein diet with intense cardio and strength training workouts? That's what we have to do to lose fat anyway so that would be great news if that also killed the fat cells instead of only shrinking them.
    It took the turn of liposuction, drugs, short cuts, easy ways out, going back to overeating, not exercising, etc. when specifically the question was about sticking to a diet and workout plan consistently over years. I wasn't asking about a miracle solution to kill fat cells. I was talking about the same thing everyone is recommending to shrink fat cells, namely good nutrition, lifting, and cardio.
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    German Research.

    German researchers have published two studies on killing fat cells. The first used CLA in doses of 3-6 grams. The second used Resveratrol [www(dot)fasebj(dot)org/content/24/6/1997.full] to induce apoptosis in both adipocytes and pre-adipocytes, regulating the total number of fat cells. However, the researchers speculated, because of the mechanism involved, that Resveratrol may only be effective in obese people and have no effect on lean people. It is not a function of how much Resveratrol you take; it has to do with the other molecule it works synergistically with, TRAIL. TRAIL levels increase with total body fat. You will want to read the articles as the interactions are quite complex but not too hard to understand.
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    any technique of "eating this and this" or "exercise using this and this" to kill dormant fat cells is - bunk.

    Don't give the supplement industry ideas. Keep talking about this and you'll start seeing "Cell Destructor Xtreme - Kill those fat cells forever!" type supplements. Anything to make a buck.
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    the only quick way to lose fat that i have witnessed and work is putting a tape worm in you (i think its tape worm), or lypo

    other than those 2 its all hard yakka
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    Team Wendler 531 IIISpartacusIII's Avatar
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    Where do I buy the pills for it? I think the more realistic goal is how to become more metabolically inefficient. That is to say how do you get your body to burn more calories at rest that it typically has to? If you can diet on more calories you will diet more successfully and retain more lean body mass. That's the only real hope most people have for staying lean. The moment the FDA approves a fat cell killing drug I may in fact put in an order so I can snack on cheese doodles all day whilst counting all my gluteal striations.
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    Do I even lift? bobdickgus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Znik View Post
    Getting rid of fat cells will not boost your metabolism nor will it decrease cravings, if lack of fat cells did that, then no one would get fat in the first place.
    You are familiar with leptin?, someone who has had significant adipocyte hyperplasia will have more fat cells for a given fat mass.
    Smaller fat cells produce much less leptin than larger cells, so a former obese person will have lower circulating leptin than someone with the same total fat mass but less adipocytes.
    Leptin regulates energy intake and expenditure, including appetite and hunger, a former obese person will be more hungry for the same total fat mass.

    So in fact getting rid of fat cells but keeping the same fat mass would indeed decrease cravings due to leptin sufficiency, the same as giving a former obese leptin injections which do reduce hunger.

    Now obese people have very high leptin levels but are leptin resistant like someone becoming a type 2 diabetic becomes insulin resistant.
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    Registered User TrantaLocked's Avatar
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    Do empty fat cells still show on the body like filled ones do? Could a previously obese person have enough of them to still have a noticeable belly made up of empty fat cells?
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    Originally Posted by TrantaLocked View Post
    Do empty fat cells still show on the body like filled ones do? Could a previously obese person have enough of them to still have a noticeable belly made up of empty fat cells?
    microscopic
    There is always someone less fortunate, with real hunger, with real adversity, who made something of themselves. What is your excuse?
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    Originally Posted by Serpentarius View Post
    microscopic
    In other words, no.
    Started in April, 2013 at 212 lbs. Completely inactive at the time. Fat with zero muscle mass.
    Before/After Thread at the end of my first cut (April '13 - October '13 - 6 mos): http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=157820563
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  25. #25
    Dreamchasers Anonymous loseitall90210's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dmacdonal9 View Post
    A cell doesn't want or crave anything. It's just a cell.
    lol
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    OP, if you're wondering what happens to fat when it breaks down or shrinks, the fat cells release triglycerides into the blood stream as free fatty acids. This can then be used as energy. Sometimes when you're in the process of losing weight and don't SEE(keyword)results in the mirror for a few weeks at a time and then suddenly see a change is because your fat cells released the triglycerides but sometimes they fill with water temporarily.
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    Interesting thread, I agree with the "it doesn't really matter" crowd. As to "the fat cells want to make you fat" -- if you already got very fat then you know that we have a screwed up appetite that is not to be trusted we have to deal with anyway... tracking food is the only way out.

    Theoretically, all else equal, if you had "more fat cells" then that would up your BMR since all cells do cost energy to keep going -- even empty fat cells. It makes "evolutionary sense" that after years of those fat cells going unused the body would want to ditch them.
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    Phatfobia Phatfobia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Znik View Post
    I doubt fat cells "crave" to get the energy replenished. Your body "might" want to gain the fat back, from a pure survival aspect.

    In my opinion all this craving on sugar/fat is weak will power, from a evolutionary perspective the intense craving and hunger etc. makes no sense to me. Since back in the days going hungry for several days would be fairly normal (hunter/gatherer era) if everyone was weak and depressed when food was not available I dont see society lasting very long.

    It is only recently that we have such a overflow of food, and especially calorie dense food. Our brain loves that stuff since we are mostly programmed to eat and gain weight when food is available in order to prepare for when it is not. I would rather put a focus on learning to control hunger and cravings rather than hoping for fat apoptosis.
    Best way to control cravings is to be active, when you are busy you tend to not think about food, and for increasing metabolism putting on lean mass does that.

    Getting rid of fat cells will not boost your metabolism nor will it decrease cravings, if lack of fat cells did that, then no one would get fat in the first place.
    this answer shows a remarkable level of ignorance about the hormonal and endocrine factors that bear upon energy homeostasis and body fat regulation.
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    Phatfobia Phatfobia's Avatar
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    yes and this is why so-called 'skin removal' surgery is often necessary after massive weight/fat loss. Its not just to remove cosmetic impact of 'saggy skin' but to remove the actual excess fat tissue which may well just consist of just deflated adipocytes however they nevertheless take up space which affects overall body shape.
    Originally Posted by bobdickgus View Post
    You are familiar with leptin?, someone who has had significant adipocyte hyperplasia will have more fat cells for a given fat mass.
    Smaller fat cells produce much less leptin than larger cells, so a former obese person will have lower circulating leptin than someone with the same total fat mass but less adipocytes.
    Leptin regulates energy intake and expenditure, including appetite and hunger, a former obese person will be more hungry for the same total fat mass.

    So in fact getting rid of fat cells but keeping the same fat mass would indeed decrease cravings due to leptin sufficiency, the same as giving a former obese leptin injections which do reduce hunger.

    Now obese people have very high leptin levels but are leptin resistant like someone becoming a type 2 diabetic becomes insulin resistant.
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  30. #30
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    The short answer to your question is that mature adipocyte apoptosis IS possible. Here's some relatively recent research suggesting that VitD3/Calcium might assist the process. The rest is just theories. My suspicion is that as you lose fat (by whatever combo of diet/exercise means) existing fat cells will deflate & eventually atrophy/die off. The trick is to do this as quickly as possible so not to let adaptations set in which cause plateaus, energy conservation & return to whatever 'set point' there might be given your history of fatness. It helps to remember that adipose tissue is not just inert tissue it is in fact an endocrine organ so the bigger it is & the longer you've had it the more entrenched it obviously is and therefore the more effort/time would be need to truly get rid of it. As I've said elsewhere post-weight-loss surgery is often a help to keep weight off/make fat loss more likely to be permanent because remaining deflated fat cells that don't die will still take up space and therefore affect your 'shape' as well as affect hormone levels which may contribute to further fat gain.


    High vitamin D and calcium intakes reduce diet-induced obesity in mice by increasing adipose tissue apoptosis.
    Sergeev IN1, Song Q.
    Author information

    Abstract
    SCOPE:
    Modulation of apoptosis is emerging as a promising antiobesity strategy because removal of adipocytes through this process will result in reducing body fat. Effects of vitamin D on apoptosis are mediated via multiple signaling pathways that involve common regulators and effectors converging on cellular Ca(2+) . We have previously shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces the Ca(2+) signal associated with activation of Ca(2+) -dependent apoptotic proteases in mature adipocytes. In this study, a diet-induced obesity (DIO) mouse model was used to evaluate the role of vitamin D and calcium in adiposity.
    METHODS AND RESULTS:
    DIO mice fed high vitamin D3 , high Ca, and high D3 plus high Ca diets demonstrated a decreased body and fat weight gain, improved markers of adiposity and vitamin D status (plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, adiponectin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone (PTH)), but an increased plasma Ca(2+) . High D3 and Ca intakes were associated with induction of apoptosis and activation of Ca(2+) -dependent apoptotic proteases, calpain and caspase-12, in adipose tissue of DIO mice. The combination of D3 plus Ca was more effective than D3 or Ca alone in decreasing adiposity.
    CONCLUSION:
    The results imply that high vitamin D and Ca intakes activate the Ca(2+) -mediated apoptotic pathway in adipose tissue. Targeting this pathway with vitamin D and Ca supplementation could contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity. However, this potentially effective and affordable approach needs to be evaluated from a safety point of view.
    © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    KEYWORDS:
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