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ABSORPTION OF FATS!!
You might ask, why is this important!? If I don’t absorb fat, then surely I will loose weight which is what I want to do right!?
To start, we need to look at the smallest structures in the body, our cells. Our cells and also the interior components of our cells like the mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulum are surrounded by what’s called a phospholipid bilayer (a very thin layer of fat essentially) but let’s just call it a membrane.
If functioning properly, this membrane acts as a kind of barrier, allowing certain nutrients to pass into the cell to be used for energy or other bodily processes and certain waste products to move in the opposite direction.
However, if the ratios of fats in this membrane get out of whack, you can probably guess what might start to happen... Nutrients we need for function may not be able to get in, and things we want to remove may hang around for longer than we might like.
Dietary choices along with how efficiently we digest and absorb fats affect the permeability of this membrane so its important that we are A) making smart food choices and B) optimising fat digestion to ensure we have a good composition of fats in these cellular membranes, giving our cells and ultimately our bodies the best chance to thrive!
Another cell in the body that depends highly on fat for its proper function and growth are neurons, the cells of our CNS. The myelin sheath, which wraps around these strand like cells acting as insulation to speed up nerve impulses is made primarily of phospholipids.
Additionally, if you are not absorbing or digesting fats efficiently you may be compromising the proper absorption of your fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. These vitamins are essential, and require fat to be absorbed into the bloodstream... If your not breaking down fat, you wont be getting maximum bang for buck from these vitamins.
So how can I tell if I’m not digesting fats efficiently? There are a few tell tale signs which are pretty easy to pick up on:
Whats causing this, and how can I start to correct it?? Well the truth is, that there are many things that could be causing/contributing to this. The most common reason for this is poor bile flow and sub-optimal levels of pancreatic enzymes, namely lipase. Bile emulsifies fats and breaks large molecules down into smaller micelles, lipase basically finishes the job off breaking these micelles down into even smaller components ready for absorption.
There are a few things that contribute to the under functioning of this digestive cascade. If this seems like something you may be struggling with. Take a look at these corrective steps below to fit the final pieces of the puzzle!
Hope this helps!