Weight Gain in Women May Boil Down to This One Hormone, New Study Finds

Updated 08/09/17

Weight loss or weight gain when adjusting your diet or fitness regimen makes sense, but gaining or losing weight for seemingly no reason, on the other hand, is incredibly frustrating. This is a feeling many middle-aged women experience when they enter menopause.

Fortunately, Mone Zaidi, MD, from Mount Sinai in New York City and Clifford J. Rosen, MD, from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute may have found an answer to this frustrating problem in the hormone FSH, or the follicle-stimulating hormone, reports the New York Times. Zaidi initially found that blocking this hormone in female mice whose ovaries had been removed increased calorie burn, reduced abdominal fat, slowed bone loss, and even encouraged physical activity.

The idea that simply blocking one hormone could solve issues relating to both obesity and menopause is, quite frankly, a big deal. Daniel Bessesen, MD, an obesity expert and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says both that the idea is interesting and that "we definitely need some new ideas" when it comes to fighting obesity to the Times.

Zaidi was studying whether or not FSH affects bone density when he stumbled upon the finding. It was peculiar and groundbreaking enough that he persuaded Rosen to help him repeat the experiments independently; two-and-a-half years later, they arrived at the same conclusion.

Of course, both studies have their limitations, namely, that they were both conducted on mice and not on people. "The dream of an easy way to prevent abdominal weight gain is so appealing; you just want it to be true," commented Philipp E. Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Zaidi, on the other hand, thinks that there could be something there for humans, and he is planning to test the anti-FSH antibody in people as soon as possible.

Head over to The New York Times for more on the new findings, and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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