Published on November 11th, 2016 | by DrKaayla


Cellulite: The Bottom Line

Do you like to joke that cellulite is your body’s way of saying “I’m sexy in braille”?

Do you think that NOTHING can be done about it?

Then this blog is for you.

Let’s first clear up some misconceptions.

Most people think cellulite comes with fatness, but it’s not just found on overweight women. Lean women often have it, including Hollywood stars who are regularly shamed with supermarket tabloid photos for their dimpled butts and thighs. So clearly, the cellulite problem is not solved by being young, lean and fit.

It helps to be male because only 10 percent of men have it compared to more than 85 percent of women. The reason is the connective tissue in men’s thighs and butts has a criss-cross structure whereas women’s tends to be more linear. (Think a cross-linked fence and it’s ability to tightly contain things in your yard compared to a picket fence where plenty of stuff can easily poke through.)

Women are also more prone to cellulite because they have three subcutaneous fat layers and not just one, and because they have nine times more alpha estrogen receptors (which produce fat) than beta receptors (which breakdown fat).

While we women can’t do much about the gender differences, we can take steps to build stronger and more flexible connective tissue that can hold the fat in. The goal is collagen fibers that are both strong and flexible. Weak connective tissue lacks the strength to stop the fat lobules from poking through. Rigid connective tissue seems strong, but it can actually help subcutaneous fat get a grip and push through. Women without cellulite have stronger and more resilient “picket fences” with some cross linking.  

Exercise helps because it increases blood flow to the connective tissue and strengthens the muscles that support our skin. Massage, rebounders, dry brush massage, and other forms of movement can increase blood and lymph flow too. But none will solve the cellulite problem unless the diet also includes plenty of foods that build strong, flexible connective tissue. To accomplish that, we need to eat plenty of foods high in collagen and cartilage. Because those are found only in animal products, people on vegan and plant-based diets will obviously come up deficient. Surprisingly, so will omnivores who favor muscle meats such as steaks and chops. Our ancestors, in their wisdom, did it differently. They regularly ate liver and other organ meats, and also enjoyed broth, soups and stews made from skin, cartilage and bones.

Broth also helps hydrate us, and dehydration make cellulite appear more prominent than it is. Not making enough broth?  If I don’t have time to cook my own, I LOVE the taste of Lance Roll’s Flavor Chef broth.   Just don’t like broth?  Not drinking enough of it?  Try mixing  collagen peptides in whatever you are drinking.  Got a serious cellulite problem, try cartilage. To learn more about Vital Proteins, my favorite brand of grass-fed collagen and cartilage, click here.

Vitamin C is also crucial for collagen formation so enjoy Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, berries, red peppers, leafy greens, broccoli.  .  .  and liver. Yes, liver, provided it’s lightly cooked.

Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps repair body tissues and collagen. Get plenty from eating beef, turkey, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, shellfish, eggs and beans.

Many health experts blame the cellulite problem on pesticides, preservatives, fluoride, and other environmental toxins stored in the fat tissue of our bodies. But if they were the primary cause, men would show as much cellulite as women. We also can see from old photographs and paintings that the dimpling and lumpiness of cellulite is not a modern phenomenon at all. That said, toxicity likely makes things worse, and it’s best to keep a clean diet with foods that are organic, free range, pastured and grass fed. Just don’t expect those choices to clear your cellulite unless your diet is also rich in collagen.

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10 Responses to Cellulite: The Bottom Line

  1. Is your bovine trachea cartiledge from grown beef or baby? Dr Prudah (spelling?) said pshoriasis wasn’t cured unless from baby (forget term).

    • DrKaayla says:

      I’m not aware that Dr. Prudden made a distinction between bovine tracheal cartilage from calves versus full grown cows. Can you tell me more?

  2. Miss says:

    Hello Dr. Daniel,

    I can say from firsthand experience that thin (and young) women can have really unfortunate cellulite even without much fat at all in that region.

    I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately because I often feel an urge to use my behind muscles — by walking properly, by fully extending the leg. I think the circulation is poor there. I take 1/4 c. of powdered gelatin every evening without fail and have been doing so for at least two years. It’s not going to fix the cellulite in my case, though I’m sure it’s helped. It’s just not the whole issue.

    To be more specific, walking properly means using the butt muscles, all the glutes, each time the leg goes back. Esther Gokhale discovered like Dr. Price that traditional peoples have retained our natural ways. The parallels of her work with his are astounding (and prove the failure of the modern world). I’m not sure if the Foundation or you are familiar with her?

    Her posture method is the “real deal” (because it’s empirical, like Dr. Price’s work) and should be studied by nearly everyone in the West because we have lost our ways. In posture, in nutrition, and yes in religion too… Those who are given the most hit the ground the hardest when they fall.

  3. Wendy Brown says:

    Hello Dr. Kaayla Daniel, a question of curiosity I hope you can answer. My cellulite has grown to just about everywhere on my body it seems, even my arms and it’s embarrassing to wear short sleeves. I just turned 48 and like many people have a thyroid issue (as in the doctor removed it suspecting cancer with no biopsy done and I willingly said, “Okay).” No cancer detected (yay), but now I’m without a thyroid too. Oops!! 5’6 1/2″ Grew up skinny, but am now 160. So, I’m about 20-30 lbs overweight. Several years ago I weighed 180 and lost 20 lbs in 1 month. Don’t ask how, but I’m not complaining. Anyway, just gave a brief history in case it is needed for you to answer my question. I was at a department store and noticed this young lady between 17-24 years old and looked like she was about 75 lbs overweight. She was wearing fairly short shorts and I noticed she had NO cellulite. I wanted to ask her how and what she was doing, but to say, “Hey, I notice you have no cellulite on your upper thighs.” I thought, “Awkward.” Not too mention she probably wouldn’t care. My question is why someone with a lot of weight would have no cellulite vs someone who isn’t as hefty. Thanks.

    • DrKaayla says:

      It’s not really a weight issue as many women who are of normal weight or underweight do have cellulite. Youth can definitely help. And maybe she’s taking collagen or enjoying lots of soup and stews.

  4. Helen Toner says:

    I love eating the food you suggest are ‘good’ for cellulite but I still have cellulite. What gives me the shits is if 85% of woment have it because of their biology why is it a problem that has to be fixed. It’s just the way women are. Why do we have to be shamed for our biology????????

    • DrKaayla says:

      I don’t believe I’m shaming anyone. That is certainly not my intention. My suggestion to consume bone broth and supplement with collagen will help health overall so there’s no downside. Any many, many women have told me it has reduced or even eliminated their cellulite.

  5. Olga says:

    Sugar causes cellulite. Chocolate, licorice all sorts, garbage food like this. I know. I just did this to myself for the past 2 weeks. My body changed so dramatically. Disgusting. Also if you don’t want your face to grow old and sag avoid wheat and dairy. It would be better to snack on fresh fruit then junk food. My friends say ,” you have to treat yourself” you are eating too healthy. Whatever.

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