1 - Cellulite: Mythic Claims
There are plenty of Mythic claims to explain cellulite. Some of the claims assume that cellulite is age related.
Others assume that cellulite results from fluid accumulation, that it is an inflammation, the result of the accumulation of toxins or a mixture of all three.
Still other claims dismiss cellulite as ordinary fat that can only be remedied through diet and exercise.
Still another expert claim (1) assumes that:
“... cellulite is, indeed, mostly fat, but it's not ordinary fatty tissue. Cellulite is different fat tissue.
It's fatty tissue that has been damaged as a result of certain malfunctions in the body's systems."
\Since cellulite is found predominantly in women, some claims (2) implicate female hormones:
“...The root cause (of cellulite) appears to be certain actions of the female hormone estrogen.
In other words, the very hormone responsible for the shapely, attractive feminine figure is the
nasty culprit in cellulite production.”
Considering the variety of the claims, the vacuity of their unproved assumptions, it is no surprise that independent observers (3) express a global negative appraisal concerning the topic of cellulite itself and the heretofore proposed treatments.
2 - Cellulite: the Reality
In glaring discrepancy with previous unsubstantiated claims, a publication by Rosembaum describes in very precise terms the morphology and the biochemistry of cellulite. (4) The conclusions of this investigation is further supported by another publication by Piérard describing the anatomy of cellulite based on 39 autopsies (5).
a – The Role of Connective Tissue in Cellulite
The two publications provide a clear concept of what cellulite is in reality: The susceptibility to cellulite is determined by the structure of the connective tissue and that the structure of the connective tissue is gender dependent.
1 - Structure
The connective dermal tissue that binds the skin to the underlying fascia differs in genders. In women the structure is mostly arranged in septa oriented perpendicular to the skin surface and delimiting large fat lobules. (image)
In men the connective septa are ticker and are arranged in planes oblique, rather crisscrossing each other than in layers perpendicular to the skin surface. Even very obese men rarely demonstrate cellulite, but on the contrary cellulite is often evident in extremely slender women.(6) (7)
The quality of connective tissue depends on the supply of building material for collagen and elastin as well as on the presence of regulatory factors Piérard (8) describes how in cellulite the collagen tissue is disrupted and the pattern of elastic fiber is unevenly distributed: “...The fibers are coarse and clumped, or rare and thin.
The quality of connective tissue depends on the supply of building material for collagen and elastin and on the function of Lysyl oxydase (LO). LO is an amine oxidase enzyme that plays a critical role in the biogenesis of connective tissue. Lysyl oxidase is essential for the stabilization of the extra cellular matrixes, specifically for the enzymatic cross-linking of collagen and elastin. LO is a copper-dependent enzyme(9).
2 - Gender
It appears that the variability in the subcutaneous connective tissue structure is hormonally rather than genetically determined. Since a female connective tissue structure is evident in males with low male hormone levels, it is not the presence of female that allows cellulite to appear, it may well be a relative insufficiency of male hormones.
b – The Role of Overweight in Cellulite
The observed correlation between weight gain and the degree of cellulite in women reflects the upwards expansion of adipose tissue possible only in the typically female fat lobules loosely maintained by a weaker connective tissue, while the stronger male connective structure imposes fat tissue to expand laterally.
c - The Role of Fluid in Cellulite
1 - ORIGIN and FUNCTION of FLUID in TISSUE
Fluid in tissue (fat tissues included) comes from the blood circulation. In the capillaries fluid (and some cells) permeates out of the capillaries and penetrates into the tissue. Fluids circulating in tissue bring nutrients to the cells and carry away whatever the cell produces--inclusive its waist products-- through lymph vessels. Lymph vessels converge to a main lymph duct (the thoracic channel) running up alongside the vertebra column and ending in one of the main veins where the content of the lymph vessel network flows back into the main blood circulation. On their path to the thoracic canal the lymph vessels cross successive groups of lymph nodes.
2 - MASSAGE in CELLULITE
The skin over cellulite is colder than the skin covering other fat tissue, indicating that in the cellulite area the blood circulation is slower. Experiments in human subjects, show that the massage of the lower extremities increases the blood flow in the saphenous vein (the superficial vein collecting blood from the thigh and abdomen cellulite area) for up to 30 minutes and increases lymphatic flow (collecting fluid from the same area) starting within 3 hours and lasting up to 12 hours (10).
The massage moves the fluid accumulated between the cells. The resulting emptiness allows the cells to expel the excess of fluid they contain (and thereafter to receive fresh fluid). The massage should apply a gentle constant pressure and move slowly
Since lymph vessels on their way to the thoracic channel cross lymph nodes, the lymph node localization in a particular body area indicate the direction of the massage to improve the circulation in that area.
The lymph nodes collecting the fluid of the subcutaneous fat tissue in the hips, thighs and buttocks are located at the anterior upper internal part of the thighs. Accordingly, the massage of cellulite in the hips, thighs and buttocks areas should exclusively be directed from the periphery toward the lymph nodes collecting the fluid of these areas. (Figure 1)
Figure 1 -Direction of the massage in thighs and buttock cellulite area
The lymph nodes collecting subcutaneous fluid of the breast, arm and of the shoulder areas are located in the armpit and the massage of cellulite in those areas should be directed toward the armpit.
Figure 2 - Direction of the massage in the upper arm cellulite area
Experience indicates that a daily five minute massage of each cellulite area is more effective than longer massage sessions only ounce or twice a week.
What Can You Do to Get Rid Of Your Cellulite?
In cellulite the Longevity Institute recommends:
a – To supplement the diet with a good source of minerals and vitamins.
Examples of products are: Ultimate Tangy Tangerine (liquid), Ultimate Classic (liquid), Daily (tablets)*
b – To take anti-oxidants.
Examples of products are: Vitale Ultimate Juice, Cocogevity (liquid)*
c – To reduce the intake of omega-6 fatty acids and to supplement with long chain essential omega-3 fatty acids. (S.M.A.R.T. fx * is one of the best products)
d – To massage the cellulite area twice a day during 5 minutes following the rules explained above and after application of a cellulite massage cream formulated to support connective tissue.
Should you be overweight follow the suggestions of the Longevity Institute for overweight people.
(*) Products form the company Youngevity.
(1) Elisabeth Dancey, M.D., author of The Cellulite Solution
(2) Peter T. Pugliese, M.D. expert in antioxidants, aging and anti-aging with special focus on the skin
(3) Collis N; Elliot LA; Sharpe C; Sharpe DT.Cellulite treatment: a myth or reality: a prospective randomized, controlled trial of two therapies, endermologie and aminophylline cream.
(4) Rosenbaum M; Prieto V; Hellmer J; Boschmann M; Krueger J; Leibel RL; Ship AG. An exploratory investigation of the morphology and biochemistry of cellulite Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1998 Jun, 101(7):1934-9.(UI: 98285298)
(5) Pierard GE; Nizet JL; Pierard-Franchimont C. Cellulite: from standing fat herniation to hypodermal stretch marks.
American Journal of Dermatopathology, 2000 Feb, 22(1):34-7. (UI: 20162040)
(6) Nurnberger, F., and Muller, G. So called cellulite: an invented disease. J. Dermatol. Surg. Oncol. 4: 221, 1978.
(7) Scherwitz, C., and Braun-Falco, O. So-called cellulite. J. Dermatol. Surg. Oncol. 4: 230, 1978.
(8) Pierard GE; Nizet JL; Pierard-Franchimont C. Cellulite: from standing fat herniation to hypodermal stretch marks.
American Journal of Dermatopathology, 2000 Feb, 22(1):34-7. (UI: 20162040)
(9) Rucker RB; Kosonen T; Clegg MS; Mitchell AE; Rucker BR; Uriu-Hare JY; Keen CL. Copper, lysyl oxidase, and extracellular matrix protein cross-linking.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998 May, 67(5 Suppl):996S-1002S.
(10) Watson,J., Fodor, P.,B., Cutliffe, B., Sayah, D., and Shaw, W. Physiological effects of endermologie: A preliminary report. Aesthetic Surg. J. 19: 27, 1999.