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Number of Fat Cells in the Human Body

Article by Diet Bites


Amount of Fat Cells

The average human body contains about 30 billion fat cells. If the weight of those 30 billion were measured it would equal about 30 pounds or 13.5 kg.

For adults, the number doesn't increase when weight gain occurs, rather the cells expand to hold the energy.

Differently Types of Fat Cells, Purposes

There are different types of fat cells - brown and white.

White Fat Cells

In white cells, the excess energy which was unused by the body becomes stored in a semi-liquid state.

Brown Fat Cells

Brown fat is often described as baby fat in laymen's terms. It is used by the body to generate heat.

Surgery to Remove Fat Cells

Surgery is the only method we are aware of that can permanently remove fat cells in adults. It does not come without significant risk to both life and limb.

Excess Body Fat Equals Stored Energy

While calories equal energy for the body, when we consume more energy than is used by our body in a given time period the excess becomes stored in cells for later use. If cells do not exist, then they are created for energy storage purposes before our adult years.

Storage Containers Created in Youth

These energy storage cells are created in youth and taper off amid the teen years of life.

The number created has more to do with heredity than being lean or overweight in size.


As the human body ages, the number of fat cells do not increase but are impacted in volume and size based on the dietary habits of the individual.

After Weight Loss, Number of Cells Remain the Same

Even if the obese individual drops pounds, the same number of cells remain - waiting to be refilled.

This is just one reason why it's so difficult to keep off lost weight.

Once filled and emptied, it is much more challenging to maintain recommended healthy weight.

Cell Regeneration

Each year, about 10% of the storage cells are renewed in adults of all ages and sizes.

Because the body closely regulates the number of storage cells they remain constant throughout life.

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