According to a news item published in Cell Reports, the brains of men and women do not provide the same biological response to a meal high in fat. This discovery is the first to highlight a potential physiological protection in women against obesity.
A diet rich in hamburgers and sodas
The study, coordinated by Prof. Deborah Clegg of Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research in Los Angeles, was conducted on male and female mice exposed to a high-fat diet. To do this, the animals were fed for 16 weeks, at random, either with a standard diet or with food rations loaded with fats and sugars, mimicking the human equivalent of a diet high in hamburgers and sugary sodas. At the end of the study, compared to the control mice, the “hamburger” mice had significantly gained weight.
Female hormones protect women
But to the surprise of the authors, the male mice revealed inflammations of brain tissue and alterations in myocardial function. A phenomenon that was not not observed in female mice. Glucose tolerance was also significantly impaired in male mice.
For American scientists, if these data require confirmation in humans, it could find an explanation in the hormonal impregnation of women, specifically in estrogen and estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), whose roles in protecting postmenopausal women against metabolic complications are well documented.
Morselli E.: Hypothalamic PGC-1α Protects Against High-Fat Diet Exposure by Regulating ERα. Cell Report
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