Women eating excess saturated fat are more likely to gain fat in abdomen
New research suggests that a high-fat diet triggers chemical reactions in female mice which explains why women are more likely than men to gain fat in the abdomen after eating excess saturated fat. It can also explain why women gain fat post menopause.
The scientists have also identified events in the female mouse that starts with activation of an enzyme and ends with formation of visceral fat that accumulates around the internal organs and ends with forming visceral fat.
The fat accumulates around the internal organs and is linked to a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
When the researchers genetically altered the mice by deleting the enzyme, the female mice stayed lean, especially in the abdominal area, even when they continued eating a lot of fat.
Research also shows that fat cells in female mice lack the enzyme that could produce proteins that use fat for heat.
Researchers also studied fat tissue from the human surgery patients and found the same enzyme was present in the human tissue and its levels were higher in cells extracted from the visceral fat tissue of obese women compared with cells from lean women.
The study also suggests that estrogen suppresses the enzyme’s activity, which may help explain why post menopausal women with decreased estrogen in their bodies tend to accumulate fat in their bellies.