Body Fat Distribution: Matter of Hormones
Abdomen flaccid, gynecomastia or holsters? … All these questions go through regulate the hormonal balance
That is, the distribution of fat in the body is determined by the hormonal balance … Or, backwards, and is the hormonal balance that determines the distribution of fat? … Well, it seems that just start things get complicated.
- 1 Importance of Hormone Balance
- 2 Sex hormones
- 3 cortisol
- 4 Testosterone in Men
- 5 “Testosterone” in Women: Estrogen
- 6 Gynecomastia: What it is, why it happens and Solutions
- 7 Growth Hormone and Fat Burning Abdominal
- 8 Insulin effects, how it affects athletes and sedentary people
- 9 Adrenergic receptors and Circulatory Flow
- 10 How to regulate hormone balance?
Importance of Hormone Balance
The distribution of fat and fat mass are two different anthropometric characteristics:
- Fat mass is the total amount of fat in your body,
- Distribution defines where it is stored.
If fat distribution is modified by hormonal correction without losing fat, just this fat will be moving around the body.
Here `s a glimpse of answer to the first question of the article: the scientific literature is unequivocal about the fact that regional fat distribution is affected by the activity of various hormones. That is, in subjects with normal weight or overweight to light (% fat < 20%) are hormones which largely determine fat distribution.
In those above that rate of body fat, fat itself affects the hormonal balance and distribution will be according to that which would have that subject with “only” overweight proportion to their current share
A clear example that many men give not important (and ought to begin to understand what lies ahead in the article) and many women do know …; is the variation in the distribution of fat during menopause. Normally, and as will hereinafter lines, women spend stored fat hips and legs (“saddlebags”) mainly to the abdomen; and this is due to hormonal changes.
It is easy to think that this is the result that men have higher levels of testosterone and women have high levels of estrogen, as these are the hormones involved in sexual differentiation. However, this is a case of confusing correlation and causality.
Approximately 50% of the difference in the pattern of accumulation of fat between men and women can be explained only by our DNA
The truth is that both differences in hormone production as differences in the pattern of fat storage is genetically determined to a large extent.
Apple Shape (Android) and Pear (gynecoid)
Beyond the difference in distribution of fat storage it is even a 70% because of genetics when a same gender, male or female are cared for. The remaining 30% of the difference in fat distribution between individuals of the same sex are explained by age and ethnicity mostly; leaving the role of hormones relieved at a marginal level compared to gross differences that we see between individuals.
Most people are familiar with the concept of the men, fat, have a form of “apple” ; while women, pear : in males, fat storage is relatively more visceral and around the abdomen and in women, more localized in gluteofemoral area.
This goes to explain why they are individuals with very little body fat percentage (<8%) the most advantages and differences can be observed in the distribution of the same in relation to the variance of your hormones, and thus make better tips nutritional and physical training to polish even more.
Cortisol is the hormone whose relationship is stronger with the fat distribution in both sexes.
Cortisol can stimulate the production and action of hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme (HSD) by a feedback mechanism which in turn allows the enzyme itself is responsible for the conversion of cortisone (inactive form) in cortisol (active form).
The HSD is located mainly in visceral adipose tissue, followed by the rest of the torso and, finally, by the lower body. This means that the cortisol cause mainly fat storage in the abdomen.
Testosterone in Men
Several studies in which exogenous testosterone was administered in the order of 10 times the supraphysiological doses males, hormone levels of this hormone do not alter where the body fat stores directly. By contrast, testosterone “per se” does affect the depth of fat accumulation.
Testosterone helps block corticosteroids cortisol hormone receptors and HSD activity, such that accumulate fat in the abdomen only if there is not enough to stop testosterone
Testosterone itself can affect the distribution of body fat indirectly by their antagonism to the effects of cortisol
“Testosterone” in Women: Estrogen
What is testosterone for men, it is estrogen for women. In women, estrogen is the main antagonist of cortisol reducing HSD activity. Thus, a woman with high estrogen levels will store fat as the pear – shaped pattern (saddlebags) since it occurs:
- Decentralization of fat deposits in the abdomen (HSD lower activity and cortisol)
- Increased activity of estrogen receptors that, contrary to androgen receptors, are greater in the lower body
On the opposite side, a woman with less high estrogen levels would have a distribution pattern more uniform fat: more fat in the abdomen and chest, and slightly less in the lower body (although it would still be relatively high for the most amount of estrogen than men).
Testosterone in women has the opposite effect of estrogen and therefore centralizes abdominal fat storage, as does the cortisol. The exact mechanisms are not yet known, but we can easily observe the effect of increasing testosterone and estrogen decline during menopause. As stated at the beginning of the article, in this period of the life cycle of women, fat is transferred from the bottom to the upper body.
Gynecomastia: What it is, why it happens and Solutions
Although gynecomastia may also occur in bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids is not the purpose of this article to address this specific cause, but the “natural” causes. Pseudogynecomastia is the enlargement of male breasts due to fat accumulation. It is therefore due to an alteration of the adipose tissue and, at present, occurs mainly associated with the consumption of processed, refined foods and trans fats.
Chemical additives added to processed foods, such as preservatives, artificial colors and flavors can mimic the effect of real estrogen in the body. These chemicals are classified as xenoestrogens and many have been the subject of recent scientific research in their hormonal effects. The very name “xeno-estrogens” indicates its similarity to estrogen themselves, whose receptors are prominently in the breast area.
Estrogen indirectly decrease the secretion of testosterone by suppressing the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), resulting in decreased testicular testosterone secretion
Most adolescent boys, up to 70%, have greatly developed the size of her breasts during puberty, and many of them are permanently fixed in adulthood. In these cases, alterations in the endocrine system leading to an increase in the ratio of estrogen / androgen.
Ratio Omega 6 / Omega-3
Omega-6 fatty acids found in high levels in corn oil, safflower and soybean oils are low cost in processed foods because manufacturers limit the maximum production costs. Omega-6 is not in itself a problem, but we need a proper relationship between Omega-3 and Omega-6: Clinical studies have shown that increased intake of omega-6 in the diet creates higher levels estrogen.
The proper ratio can be maintained in the diet by eating healthy oils nuts (walnuts) and seeds, fatty fish such as salmon and olive oil. These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps balance the Omega-6 we eat from meat and dairy foods.
Solutions for gynecomastia
Also, sometimes what is believed solution can aggravate the problem. It is common to think about making extreme low – calorie diets to reduce the undesirable fat; however, when deprived of adequate nutrition to the body, testosterone levels decrease while the adrenal glands continue to produce estrogen thereby causing hormonal imbalance in favor of the latter and making it impossible pseudoginecomastia correction. Anyone who believes that it can reduce body fat located in the chest through exercise, is deceiving itself, as it will not happen. Drugs such as aromatase inhibitors have been effective in some few cases, but usually requires surgical removal of the excess tissue or liposuction.
Growth Hormone and Fat Burning Abdominal
Without going into an exhaustive analysis of growth hormone (HGH), which would go far, we say that “roughly” is also an antagonist of cortisol and increases anti-cortisol testosterone in men and estrogen activity women. Therefore, high levels of growth hormone preferably burn abdominal fat, fat followed by the rest of the torso and finally, at the bottom of the body.
Thus, one can observe the variance of GH by measuring skin folds. The following body measurements, in order, they have shown higher in individuals with low production of growth hormone in healthy individuals:
- Abdomen (suprailiac, abdomen).
This pattern of fat storage could also be associated not only with growth hormone deficiency (directly related to the ability to build muscle mass), but also with:
- High Cortisol in men.
- Low estrogen levels or high testosterone in women.
Restating that these changes become more noticeable in people with low body fat index.
Insulin effects, how it affects athletes and sedentary people
Its main metabolic effects are:
- It stimulates glycogenesis.
- Inhibits gluconeogenesis
- Promotes glycolysis.
- It stimulates the synthesis of fatty acids.
- Promotes protein synthesis.
Surely attending these effects, insulin is often related to weight gain by its interaction with lipid metabolism : increased insulin levels are often associated with increased fat storage. Thus, while the insulin secretion will be regulated by a negative feedback mechanism where the main factor is the glucose concentration, also involving the amino acid concentration, the ratio of fatty acid / keto acids, and the nervous system.
Nevertheless, the manner in which nutrients are absorbed and transported in our body differs greatly in athletes and sedentary people by the phenomenon of insulin sensitivity and physical exercise
Focusing on glucose, athletes use it more efficiently than non – athletes because muscle training adaptations allow. For this reason, the influence of insulin on the distribution of body fat is minimal in highly trained subjects.
In those that are at least, there is less sensitivity to glucose (more resistance) and the effect of cortisol is reinforced to give a storage carbohydrates and fat around the midsection preferentially.
Adrenergic receptors and Circulatory Flow
There are two main categories of adrenergic receptors: beta (B) and alpha (A), distributed in various tissues. There are, in turn, various forms of alpha and beta receptors, but as regards human adipose tissue, which must be considered are the A2 and B2 adrenergic receptors.
- The B2 receptors respond to elevated catecholamine, activating lipolysis
- The A2 receptors, in turn, inhibit this process, slow lipolysis
There are areas of the body having a density and a different relationship between the A2 and B2 receptors. As just explained, in the adipose areas where B2 receptors prevail, catecholamines have a pro-lipolytic paper ; while in areas where this action prevail A2 pro-lipolytic be less pronounced and more difficult to “burn” fat:
- Visceral fat cells are more sensitive to the lipolytic action of catecholamines compared to cells of the abdominal subcutaneous fat.
- In turn, in both sexes abdominal subcutaneous fat cells are more sensitive to lipolytic effect of catecholamines that located in the region gluteofemoral
- Women tend to have a greater number of receptors A-2 in gluteofemoral men region.
It is also important to specify that the blood vessels are controlled by beta – adrenergic receptors because fat mobilization oxygen supply is needed. For this reason, since the A2 receptors are expressed primarily in the lower regions, the blood flow during lipolysis in gluteofemoral area is much smaller than in the abdominal area (about 65% less). Furthermore, in the upper regions it is more dense the presence of B2 receptors; so in both sexes, the mobilization of fat is easier and faster in the higher regions, and much more difficult in the lower.
How to regulate hormone balance?
How hormones affect storage of fat
Men genetically stored fat more evenly distributed in the body and women who naturally have a way genoide where fat is preferably stored in the hips and legs.
Effects of cortisol
The genetically pre-estrablecida figure of both sexes only minimally altered by cortisol, so that fat storage is centralized in the abdomen. Other hormones simply change the strength of the effect of cortisol.
Relations between hormonal regulation and regional fat storage in men is summarized in the following image. Visceral adipose tissue represents a pattern of central fat stores a large amount of fat in the midsection, less in the rest of the torso and less on the lower body (apple or android type).
It is important to know and apply strategies diet, combined with specific exercise protocols, and perhaps a little help from supplementation for that endpoint.
|TESTOSTERONE||Decentralizes the higher fat distribution is the testosterone / cortisol ratio.||Reinforces the effect of cortisol: centralizes fat in the abdomen.|
|ESTROGEN||Reduces the effects of testosterone in men.||Decentralizes fat distribution preferably to gluteofemoral area.|
|Cortisol||Centralizes fat in the abdomen.|
|GROWTH HORMONE||Decentralizes fat distribution|
|INSULIN||Reinforces the effect of cortisol: centralizes abdominal fat (little significant effect in trained subjects)|