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    Puckered, dimply skin on the thighs, hips and buttocks, otherwise known as cellulite, remains a mystery on many levels. Where does it come from? Why do people who are not overweight have it? And the most important question of all—How can I get rid of it forever? The honest answer is, nobody knows for sure.

    What Is Cellulite?
    Cellulite is known in the medical community as localized lipodystrophy—meaning misshapen fat in one or several specific areas of the body.

    The facts about cellulite are as follows:

    • Up to 85% of post-adolescent women have some cellulite on their bodies.
    • It does not appear in women until after puberty.
    • It very rarely appears in men.
    • It is not related to obesity.
    Before describing how cellulite is formed, it is important to understand our fat anatomy. Just beneath the surface of the skin is a thin layer of subcutaneous fat. This layer operates as a cushioning mechanism against trauma and it also helps to keep the body warm. It is normally not associated with weight gain. Another layer of fat, deeper under the skin, called the scarpus fascia controls the contours, bulges and bumps in our body. It is in this area where fat cells enlarge as we gain weight. This deeper layer is divided into chambers by flexible connective tissue. The connective tissue attaches the top layer of skin to the lower layers of muscle like an anchor.

    As the connective tissue becomes weak, abnormally shaped and less flexible, it tends to pull down on the surface of the skin and creates a dimpled uneven appearance on the skin—cellulite. Researchers are trying to determine how and why the connective tissue changes. This answer may lead to the discovery of specific treatments that can truly banish cellulite.

    What Causes Cellulite?
    According to a new book by Maggie Greenwood-Robinson entitled, The Cellulite Breakthrough, there are five main causes for cellulite:
    • poor circulation
    • excess estrogen
    • toxin buildup
    • aging
    • heredity
    The Greenwood-Robinson claims that these problems can be resolved by aerobic exercise, strength training, antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, a diet rich in fiber, drinking 12 glasses of water a day and 15 mg. of zinc daily. While these changes in your lifestyle are healthy ones, there are no comprehensive medical studies which prove that they can reduce cellulite.

    In addition to the causes listed above, sugar, salt, caffeine, and a host of other ingredients have been purported to cause cellulite, but none of these factors have been conclusively linked either. (Don't we all know a person who never exercises, eats a steady diet of potato chips and chocolate and has thighs as smooth as silk)?

    According to the latest research, genetics and age play the most significant role in the appearance of cellulite. Thus, while diet and exercise may help, they can not truly eliminate the problem.

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