Function of Adipose Tissue

Adipose tissue is basically the fat we carry in our bodies. It is located in various strategic places throughout the body. 1. Around the heart. 2. Around the kidneys. 3. Under the skin. 4. Long bone marrow. 5. Around the joints. 6. Inside the eye-socket. 7. Buttocks. Adipose is a loose connective tissue which fills in the spaces between organs creating a cushion or packing which protects the organs, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.

Pretend you are planning to mail a gift of antique glassware to a close friend. You would not send the gift unless each piece adequately packed to prevent breakage, would you? Of course not. The same principle holds true for a human package. It would not do for the items within to be allowed to loosely jostle around with every move we make. The thick layer of adipose tissue which lies under the skin helps keep us warm. It acts as an insulator by reducing the amount of heat lost through our skin. Think of your home. The more insulation present in the outer walls, the warmer your home will stay during the winter months and it will take less energy to keep it warm inside.

If you live in an old home with not much insulation, it will take a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. Another function of adipose tissue is to store excess energy. What that means is that when we eat more food than we actually need, the extra will be converted to fat which is stored in our adipose tissue. If we do not take in enough food to sustain our exertion level, the body will not simply fall over and quit. Instead, it will draw on the energy that has been stored in our fat cells, or adipose tissue.

A very thin person will most likely not be able to tolerate the cold as well as someone with a ‘little meat on their bones’, nor would they be able to survive as long if deprived of food. On the other hand, having too much adipose tissue within the body presents the possibility of developing many other health issues. If a person consistently eats more food than needed, or takes in more than is burned up, that person will continually gain weight and the weight gain will not stop until the individual makes a change either in their diet or in the amount of energy they burn each day or a combination of both.