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Study: How a high-fat diet and estrogen loss leads women to store more abdominal fat than men
Date:9/5/2012

ine-fold increase in visceral fat compared to visceral fat developed by males on a high-fat diet. This was the final determinant that the high-fat diet triggers this cascade of events ending in visceral fat formation.

Because the human fat tissue samples the researchers analyzed also showed elevated levels of Aldh1a1 in cells extracted from tissue in obese women, "it could be that what we show about this hormone's importance to visceral obesity in mice is also true for humans," Ziouzenkova said.

"As soon as a female starts the high-fat diet consumption, a mechanism for hormonal regulation is turned on and she starts to produce retinoic acid and her metabolism becomes super thrifty. Females will store more fat than they burn," she said. "By removing the Aldh1a1 enzyme in visceral fat, we could make females release fat and burn it. We make them super-metabolically active instead."

The study identifies this enzyme as a potential sex-specific therapy for obesity, but only in very targeted ways. Deleting the enzyme genetically would be damaging because Aldh1a1 is present in all cells, meaning it has additional functions. Ziouzenkova is investigating ways to target delivery of enzyme-free cells directly to fat as a potential obesity remedy.


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Contact: Ouliana Ziouzenkova
Ziouzenkova.1@osu.edu
614-292-5034
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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