Chylomicrons transport lipids from the intestine to adipose, cardiac, and skeletal muscle tissues. Then lipoprotein lipase activity hydrolyzes their triglyceride components. This allows the tissues to absorb the released free fatty acids. The liver takes up the fat from a large portion of the hydrolyzed triglyceride core.
There are three stages of chylomicrons: Nascent, Mature, and Remnant. Nascent chylomicrons are composed primarily of triglycerides (85%). They also contain some cholesterol and cholesteryl esters. While circulating in blood, chylomicrons exchange components with high-density lipoproteins (HDL) known as mature chylomicrons. Chylomicron becomes a remnant after the triglycerides stores are distributed and the chylomicron returns APOC2 to the HDL but keeps APOE. APOE is required for cholesterol transportation from astrocytes to neurons and is the principal cholesterol carrier in the brain. Chylomicron remnants are considered a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
These absorbed fats and fat-soluble vitamins form a milky white fluid from chyme called chyle, which contains lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids. Chyle delivers nutrients indirectly when it reaches venous blood circulation. Blood capillaries take up other nutrients directly.
The type of oil and fat a person consumes is critical for proper growth, neural development, brain function, immune regulation, hormone balance, and other bodily systems. A deficiency or imbalance of essential fatty acids or consumption of damaged fats and oils damage these complex systems and pathways which can lead to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and immune failure. A daily supply of organic essential fatty acids (omega 3 in particular) in balance is essential.
A healthy lymphatic system plays a vital role in the absorption and digestion of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are necessary for growth and development and a robust immune system.
Immune System Regulation
Lymphoid tissue, cells, and organs that make up the lymphatic system include white blood cells (leukocytes), bone marrow, the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, nodules,
tonsils, adenoids, appendix, and Peyer’s patches. (Description from Britannica)
Lymphoid tissue has several different structural organizations related to its particular function in the immune response. The most highly organized lymphoid tissues are in the thymus and lymph nodes, which are well-defined encapsulated organs with easily identifiable architectures. In the spleen, the lymphoid tissue is a cylinder of loosely organized cells surrounding small arteries. In the bone marrow, this tissue is mixed with the blood-forming cells.
The most diffuse lymphoid tissue is found in the loose connective-tissue spaces beneath most wet epithelial membranes, such as those that line the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory system. Many lymphatic system cells in these spaces wander to locate invading microorganisms and foreign material. In response to such invasions, they establish localized centers of cell production identified as nodules, which are different from nodes. Nodules are smaller than nodes, do not act as a filter, nor have a well-defined connective-tissue capsule as a boundary. Some nodules become permanent structures, such as the tonsils, appendix, and Peyer’s patches, which line the small intestine. Most nodules appear and disappear in response to local needs.
The lymph nodes (lymph glands) are small, encapsulated bean-shaped structures that filter lymph. There are 500–600 lymph nodes throughout the body along the lymphatic routes. They are especially prevalent in areas around the armpits (axillary nodes), groin (inguinal node), neck (cervical nodes), and knees (popliteal nodes). The nodes contain lymphocytes, which enter the bloodstream via specialized vessels called the high endothelial venules. T cells congregate in the inner cortex (paracortex), and B cells are organized in germinal centers in the outer cortex. Lymph, along with antigens, drains into the node through afferent (incoming) lymphatic vessels and percolates through the lymph node, where it comes in contact with and activates lymphocytes. Activated lymphocytes, carried in the lymph, exit the node through the efferent (outgoing) vessels and eventually enter the bloodstream throughout the body.