“Obesity is an extremely complex, multifactorial disease, with many of its most harmful effects arising from hormonal stimulation. Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ, and more than a hundred different hormones are produced by fat cells. As the cells expand with weight gain, production increases. Some of these hormones cause inflammation or trigger blood-clotting mechanisms, while others raise blood pressure or lead to insulin resistance, for example. Obesity affects virtually every body system and is associated with more than 200 medical conditions.”
Chronic Inflammation: Understanding the “Cytokine Storm”
The leading causes of death among Americans are slow developing, lifestyle-related chronic diseases. This includes diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension or high cholesterol levels. Diet can often be (but not always) the underlying condition reflected as obesity. Obesity is now considered to be a major risk factor for complications of COVID-19 infections.
A previous post explains the role of diet in this occurrence. The post was written before the co-morbidities (underlying conditions) were associated with inflammation and severe COVID infections. The following well written article was initially published in The Conversation and succinctly explains how the role of inflammation can contribute to severe COVID and death often described as the “cytokine storm”.