Health Biomarkers Series: Body Fat

Posted on 8/29/2013 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: detoxification, exercise, Health biomarker, heart disease, overeating, toxicity, weight loss

Body fat is a critical measure for overall health. From the less effective skinfold test, to hydrostatic weighing in water, and air displacement via the Bod Pod, one of the most effective and accurate ways to measure body fat is with DBC’s Bioimpedance Analysis machine. Over 100 independent studies conducted by researchers over the past 20 years have proven the BIA provides an accurate, clinical assessment of body composition.
With the optimum range of body fat between 15% - 23% for most men and women, numbers too low or too high can present problems.
When body fat is above 30%, it becomes very “angry” fat, spewing out inflammatory and toxic molecules.
When body fat drops below 15%, it disrupts hormone function in women, and neurological and immunological health suffers in both men and women.
In fact, this is a commonality in professional cyclists, where the number one cause of death is suicide from chronic depression. With their average body fat less than 12%, the neurological effects of too little body fat points to being the root cause of their depression.
Beyond the quantity of body fat, the location of body fat is also an important health indicator.
For instance, when there is an excess of abdominal fat, it indicates high cortisol, insulin resistance, and liver toxicity. When there is an excess of fat around the hips, estrogen dominance is suspected. This is the difference between apple and pear-shaped individuals. Excess body fat that is distributed equally indicates a thyroid condition, overeating, and/or not getting enough exercise.
Body fat can be extremely difficult to get rid of, especially when dealing with metabolic disorders like the thyroid, and when insulin resistance is present.
Liver toxicity is also a huge impediment to body fat loss. When the liver can’t process environmental toxins, internal toxins, and medication toxins because it is overburdened, these toxins must go somewhere. Often, fat is the safest place for the body to store these toxins, so they don't wreak more havoc than they already have on the systems of the body. 
When it comes to losing this toxic body fat, the body is simply unwilling to get rid of it because it is a safe storage for this overflow of toxins. Thus, this is no longer an oversimplified game of numbers; it’s a game of being healthy, less toxic, and less inflamed.
How to Lose Excess Body Fat
There’s a reason most weight loss programs, at best, have a 4-6% success rate long-term. That’s because the body fat is addressed only as an excess number of calories and carbohydrates, but it goes way beyond this.
Here at DBC, we embark on a journey of getting a patient properly detoxified, less inflamed, and healthy at their current weight. Once the patient is healthy, we often see successful weight loss initiated, and a halt to common yo-yo fluctuations.
Beyond detoxification, the best ways to continue appropriate fat loss include avoiding environmental toxins and adhering to the recommendations here.
Exercising in a fashion that stimulates the metabolism and over time, which includes both interval training and strength training, is another key.
Fit it into your schedule when you can, because it’s a big part to achieving ideal body fat, and to your long-range optimum health!  
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