According to a study published in Science Daily, women’s subcutaneous fat (found in locations like the hips, buttocks, and backs of the arms) protects them against brain inflammation, which can lead to illnesses like dementia and stroke until menopause.
Visceral adiposity, or fat accumulation around the organs in the abdomen, is related to an increased risk of inflammation and is more frequent in males at any age than in women. Males are likewise thought to be at a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular accidents before menopause than females.
“When people think of protection in women, their first thought is estrogen,” says Alexis M. Stranahan, PhD, a neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University’s Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine. “The simple assumption that sex differences are only attributable to hormonal variations and hormonal exposure must be abandoned.
The fundamental processes behind gender disparities must be extensively examined if we are to treat them and recognize the role that gender plays in a variety of clinical outcomes.”
Stranahan, the study’s corresponding author, believes that dietary and genetic variables are also likely to explain the estrogen-related disparities. She, too, is astonished by the discoveries, which she concedes may have revolutionary and even heretical ramifications. These investigations were carried out to discover “which occurs first: hormone imbalance, inflammation, or brain abnormalities.”
Researchers studied the long-term effects of a high-fat diet on the amount and location of adipose tissue, as well as the concentration of sex hormones and brain inflammation, in both male and female mice to understand more about how inflammation presents itself in the brain.
Because obese female mice, like humans, have more subcutaneous fat and less visceral fat than male mice, the researchers hypothesized that these differences might play a role in the protection against inflammation that females experience before to menopause.
They discovered that high-fat diets effect men and women differently in terms of fat accumulation. There was no inflammation or insulin resistance in the female mice’s brains before menopause, which promotes inflammation and may eventually contribute to diabetes. Most women stop menstruation and begin to seem more masculine during the 48th week of pregnancy.
They examined how a high-fat diet, known to cause systemic inflammation, affects male and female mice after liposuction-like fat removal. No drastic treatments, such as removing the ovaries, were undertaken to reduce estrogen production in the body. When women lost subcutaneous fat, their brain inflammation rose, but this had no influence on estrogen or other sex hormones.
Stranahan and colleagues observed that typical inflammatory promoters, such as the signaling proteins IL-1 and TNF alpha, were more abundant in female brains, exactly as they were in male brains.
Stranahan observes that women who had their subcutaneous fat reduced had greater visceral fat and brain inflammation, similar to males. They “kind of” relocated everything to the other warehouse. The transition took around three months, which is several years in human terms.
Subcutaneous fat loss in young, low-fat-diet mice resulted in increases in visceral fat and inflammation later in life. Despite this, Stranahan and her colleagues found no signs of brain inflammation.
Does it mean that removal of visceral fat in males will help reduce inflammation of the brain??