[Continued from Part II: What's the Difference Between Fat and Cellulite?]
Most of us think of the lymphatic system as a type of waste removal system –that is, if we think of it at all. But this is only one of its many functions. Did you know lymph vessels also play a primary role in digestion?
As Dr. Chikly explains, when you eat a meal containing fat, the fat molecules drain from the small intestine via lymphatic vessels called chyliferous vessels (also known as lacteals). The lymphatic vessels in the small intestine are able to pick up large fatty acid molecules while the veins only absorb smaller particles, like amino acids and sugars, which go directly into the bloodstream.
This mixture of fat and lymph is a milky white fluid called chyle. By some accounts, the lymphatic system was not discovered until 1622 when an Italian physician, named Gasparo Aselli, dissected a dog who had just eaten a fatty meal, causing the translucent lymph vessels to be temporarily visible as “milky veins.”
Dr Chikly brings up a theory of cellulite that sparked interest across the alternative health care community. Research shows it is not unusual for fat cells to contain toxic material such as dioxins, mercury, and other heavy metals. The body traps these harmful substances in fat layers to put them outside of the general circulation.
“That could be the toxicity,” Dr. Chikly explains. “Now, we never clearly make the link that those are causing the inflammation,” he admits, but the theory continues to intrigue naturopaths, massage therapists, and women the world over who are looking for a natural cure for cellulite.
Talking to the good doc makes me feel better about my own cellulite ignorance. If a lymphatic expert with Dr. Chikly’s credentials can admit to not having all the answers, then so can your trusty cellulite analyst.
Bruno Chikly, MD, DO, is the author of Silent Waves: Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy. His book is the first comprehensive text on the lymphatic system and lymphedema in North America. Dr. Chikly is also the developer of Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT), a hands-on method of lymphatic manipulation now used by thousands of health care professional throughout the world. Learn more at www.ChiklyInstitute.org.
I’m still figuring out how to set up our forum, but feel free to come over and say hi while I’m working on it. It’s always nice to hear from my fellow cellulite investigators!