After menopause, the specific activity of an enzyme involved in the production of fat, called ALDH1A1 (Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family, member A1) increases, researchers.
The enzyme was found in mice and in humans. During the study, female mice that consumed a high-fat diet had higher ALDH1A1 enzyme activity which led to store more visceral fat (fat around the abdomen) in male mice fed the same diet fats.
By contrast, female mice did not accumulate this abdominal fat, despite the high fat diet, when they were bred to lacked this enzyme.
Estrogens, a set of female hormones produced by the ovaries, appear to suppress the activity of the ALDH1A1. This might suggest that younger women who have high levels of estrogen, are protected from the harmful effects of this enzyme. But after menopause, estrogen levels decrease, causing an increase in the activity of ALDH1A1, making women more vulnerable to weight gain.
Ziouzenkova Ouliana asserts, assistant professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University, with the objective of ALDH1A1, researchers might be able to develop an anti-obesity treatment specifically for women. However, this type of treatment is unlikely in the near future.
Because the study was conducted in mice, researchers would have to show that the results are applicable to humans. Furthermore, ALDH1A1 intervenes decisively in other body functions, in addition to the formation of fat, so researchers should create a therapy that will not completely eliminate the enzyme, Ziouzenkova concluded.
Original source: “Ouliana Ziouzenkova Finds Link Between Estrogen Level and Increased Abdominal Fat in Females”
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