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Researchers Link Female Weight Gain To A Single Hormone

Most of us are aware that at some point in our evolution as women, we’ll start to gain weight in places we never before did, for no apparent reason. This tends to happen in conjunction with menopause, and it’s a frustrating phenomenon to add to the pile of unpleasant changes that occur during this time in a woman’s life. Fortunately, researchers have just uncovered a link between this type of weight gain and the hormone FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), levels of which increase when the ovaries start to fail. While conducting research that attempted—and succeeded—to link bone loss to FSH levels, Mone Zaidi, MD, director of the Mount Sinai Bone Program in New York City, stumbled upon this unexpected finding. His studies, which used mice, found that “blocking the hormone solved [unwanted weight gain and bone loss, while] increasing the calories burned, reducing abdominal fat, slowing bone loss and even encouraging physical activity.”

What does this mean for menopausal women? Dr. Zaidi is currently planning to test an anti-FSH antibody in people, so we (hopefully soon) shall see. “The dream of an easy way to prevent abdominal weight gain is so appealing, you just want it to be true,” Philipp E. Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told the New York Times. He’s right, so here’s hoping this works!

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