There is a widespread belief that the fats of lipomas are not available to the host as a source of reserve food-supply. This is based on certain reputed instances in which the bearer of a lipoma is said to have become greatly emaciated from some intercurrent disease, notwithstanding which the lipoma has either remained its original size or has even continued to grow. Specific cases in which such occurrences have been accurately observed and reported are, however, difficult to find.
Shattock,1 in an interesting discussion of "Localized Fatty Deposits," has commented on this paucity of evidence. He himself knew of but two such reputed cases, and reinvestigation of some of the supposed lipomas in one of these cases showed them to be caseous lymph-nodes. Furthermore, he mentions a third case in which a subcutaneous lipoma did decrease in size during the emaciation of the patient. A diligent search of
WELLS HG. THE FAT METABOLISM OF LIPOMAS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1912;X(4):297-304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1912.00060220002001