Adipose tissue, diet and aging

Mech Ageing Dev. 2014 Mar-Apr;136-137:129-37. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2013.11.008. Epub 2013 Dec 7.


Age related increase in body fat mass, visceral adipose tissue (AT), and ectopic fat deposition are strongly related to worse health conditions in the elderly. Moreover, with aging higher inflammation in adipose tissue may be observed and may contribute to inflammaging. Aging may significantly affect AT function by modifying the profile of adipokines produced by adipose cells, reducing preadipocytes number and their function and increasing AT macrophages infiltration. The initiating events of the inflammatory cascade promoting a greater AT inflammatory profile are not completely understood. Nutrients may determine changes in the amount of body fat, in its distribution as well as in AT function with some nutrients showing a pro-inflammatory effect on AT. Evidences are sparse and quite controversial with only a few studies performed in older subjects. Different dietary patterns are the result of the complex interaction of foods and nutrients, thus more studies are needed to evaluate the association between dietary patterns and changes in adipose tissue structure, distribution and function in the elderly.

Keywords: Adipokynes; Adipose tissue; Aging; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipokines / metabolism
  • Adipokines / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Body Composition
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Male
  • Muscles / pathology


  • Adipokines