For a long time fat tissue and their cells were viewed as somewhat inert containers of energy storage. However, today we know that adipose tissue functions as a gland with the capability to release a variety of factors relative to its size and endowed energy. As mentioned previously, some of these factors may promote the formation of more fat cells. Perhaps some of the most interesting released factors are those that circulate to the brain and provide insight to our energy storage status. One of the most important factors seems to be the hormone leptin. Fat cells release more and more leptin into our circulation when fat cells accumulate more fat. Leptin then signals the brain to reduce appetite. In addition, as fat cells swell due to excessive calorie consumption, some of the chemicals they release can promote the development and worsening of diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions.
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