If you’re over the age of 40 or 50, you may have noticed that your weight is much harder to maintain. You put it on much easier and it is far more difficult to lose. We blame it on getting older or poor diet choices and lack of exercise, but women specifically have their hormones to blame for their weight problems.
Sex hormone associated with fluctuating weight among women
The study was conducted on mice, and researchers uncovered that a hormone responsible for sexual development can lead to weight changes in women and cause them to go from a pear shape to an apple shape. Women with a pear-shaped body have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Numerous other studies have linked being apple-shaped to health problems, as this body type signifies more fat being stored.
The researchers found that rising levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) can affect weight and possibly even bone density. Previous research found the role of FSH was to help in the production of eggs and to stimulate the ovaries to release estrogen. The latest research findings have now uncovered that FSH may be responsible for the redistribution of fat in the middle of the abdomen, which is dangerous because the fat in this area tends to surround vital organs.
When the researchers blocked FSH, they found that more calories were burned and abdominal fat was reduced.
The researchers suggest that blocking FSH in menopausal women could help reduce fat accumulation and weight gain.
One theory as to why FHS blockage causes greater fat burn is that when FSH is blocked, fat becomes converted to brown fat, which is known to help promote fat burning.
There are still additional studies required to determine whether or not FSH works alone in weight and fat gain during menopause or if there is another culprit at play. This study is a good stepping stone for future studies on the role of hormones and obesity.
In the meantime, it is still a good idea to eat well and exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight.