Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone Therapy Plus Physical Activity Reduce Belly Fat, Body Fat Percentage After Menopause

Date:
June 19, 2009
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Older women who take hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms may get the added benefit of reduced body fat if they are physically active, according to a new study.

Older women who take hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms may get the added benefit of reduced body fat if they are physically active, according to a new study. The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The study provides new information on the health benefits of any type of physical activity, not just exercise, said the presenting author Poli Mara Spritzer, MD, PhD, a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and chief of the Gynecological Endocrinology Unit at the university's Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre.

After menopause, a woman's percentage of body fat tends to increase and redistribute to the abdomen, Spritzer said. Excess belly fat is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Postmenopausal women who exercise have a lower percentage of body fat than sedentary women, past research shows. However, Spritzer said less is known about the influence on body fat composition of physical activity in women receiving hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Some data suggest that estrogen treatment may add to the effect of exercise in reducing fat.

Spritzer and her colleagues studied 34 healthy women who had an average age of 51 years, had experienced menopause for less than 3 years and sought HRT to relieve hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. They evaluated the women's cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (a measure of abdominal fat) and percentage of body fat before and after 4 months of HRT. The women received estrogen plus progesterone therapy in either non-oral (nasal and vaginal) or low-dose oral preparations. For 6 consecutive days before starting HRT and 6 days at the end of HRT, women wore a pedometer to estimate their level of physical activity. The device measured the steps they took, including walking, working, and doing house chores and leisure activities. They were instructed to not change their usual activities. Most of the women did not play sports or do any structured physical exercise, according to Spritzer.

Results showed that 24 of the women were physically active—defined as taking 6,000 steps or more per day—and 10 were inactive (less than 6,000 steps a day). For a woman who has a step, or stride, length of 2 feet (60 cm), 6,000 steps would be around 2.25 miles (3.6 km), Spritzer estimated. For active women, the higher the number of steps they took, the lower was their waist measurement and the better their level of "good" (high-density-lipoprotein, or HDL) cholesterol, the authors reported. The inactive women did not have any changes in body fat or cholesterol. However, when all 34 women were considered in the analysis, body fat still declined significantly after HRT.

"Data from our study suggest that active women could benefit from hormone therapy beyond the relief of menopausal symptoms—by preserving a good body fat percentage and distribution," Spritzer said. "Further studies with a larger number of subjects are needed in order to answer whether a specific physical activity is better than others."

The Brazilian National Council for Science and Technology and the Brazilian National Institute of Hormones and Women's Health funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Hormone Therapy Plus Physical Activity Reduce Belly Fat, Body Fat Percentage After Menopause." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610091230.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2009, June 19). Hormone Therapy Plus Physical Activity Reduce Belly Fat, Body Fat Percentage After Menopause. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610091230.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Hormone Therapy Plus Physical Activity Reduce Belly Fat, Body Fat Percentage After Menopause." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610091230.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins