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.
Aaron Lohr | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > BMI > Body Mass Index > Diabetes > Gynecological Endocrinology > HRT > Hormon > Menopause > belly fat > body fat > cholesterol level > cholesterol levels > estrogen treatment > heart disease > hormone replacement therapy > hormone therapy > hot flashes > menopausal symptoms > night sweats > physical activity > postmenopausal women > vaginal dryness
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy