Women's health discussion
forums, research news and
women's health issues.

Trying To Conceive

Surviving Miscarriage

Overcoming Infertility

Reproductive Health

General Health




Babies and Toddlers


Mental Health

Diet & Weight



Sexual Dysfunction

Looking Good




Reproductive Health




Mental Health

Children's Health

Eating Well

Healthy Living



Weight Issues

Breast Cancer

Custom Search

11 October 2011
Estrogen's effects on weight may lead to personalized HRT regimes

The sex hormone estrogen has an important, if underappreciated, role in weight gain as women get older, say researchers in the journal Cell Metabolism. The researchers, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, traced estrogen's effects on metabolism to different parts of the brain.

"When women approach menopause, they gain weight in fat and their energy expenditure goes down," says researcher Deborah Clegg. "Estrogen levels decline and women grow increasingly susceptible to obesity and metabolic syndrome."

Estrogen acts on receptors found throughout the body, in fat, on ovaries and in muscle. But when it comes to the hormone's influence on metabolism, Clegg suspected receptors in the brain.

Other scientists had tracked the effects of estrogen on energy balance specifically to estrogen receptor-á (ERá). When Clegg's team "knocked out" (deleted) those receptors from the brains of mice, "we got very, very fat mice," she explained. "The animals consumed more calories and burned less."

Clegg showed that female mice lacking ERá in one part of the brain (the hypothalamic steroidogenic factor-1 or SF1 neurons) gained weight without eating any more. Loss of ERá from another brain area (the hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin or POMC neurons) had the opposite effect: animals ate more without gaining weight. Loss of ERá receptors in those same neurons also led to various problems in ovulation and fecundity.

Importantly, the findings may lead to the development of highly personalized hormone replacement therapies that specifically target estrogen receptors in the brain. Such therapies would offer a useful alternative to shotgun-style hormone replacement therapies that hit receptors throughout the body.

The researchers say they would like to continue to isolate other estrogen-related effects and symptoms, for instance, on hot flashes and cognition. "The more we know about estrogen's sites of action, the more likely it is we could develop designer hormone replacement therapies targeting tissue X, Y or Z," Clegg concluded.

Sex hormones altered by postmenopausal smoking
The marriage weight quake
Periodic fasting good for health and heart
Middle-Age Spread A Sign Of Later Dementia

Source: Cell Press

Discussion Forums     About Us     Privacy
Your use of this website indicates your agreement to our terms of use.
© 2002 - 2013 Aphrodite Women's Health and its licensors. All rights reserved.