Health Benefits Of Dieting Vary Depending On Sex and Age, Study Shows

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A recent study revealed that males who were put on low-calorie diets demonstrated a more significant reduction in body fat and enhancement in blood glucose levels relative to females.

Estrogen hormone influences the health benefits of dieting

The study published in eLife suggests that estrogen, a primary female sex hormone, may influence the health advantages of dieting, helping to identify individuals who may benefit from reduced-calorie diets.

A University of Edinburgh-led research team conducted a six-week study on mice and humans to assess the health benefits of reducing calorie intake while maintaining essential nutrient levels. The team found that such a diet can help prevent obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and increase life expectancy. In addition, the study showed a 22% reduction in blood sugar levels among young males, while the reduction was 16% in young females.

Fat loss in females less compared to males

During a six-week experiment, 96 mice were subjected to a 30% calorie reduction while an additional 85 mice were provided with a regular diet. Male mice experienced a significant decrease in body fat by almost 70%, while female mice did not lose any fat. This was due to the fact that younger female mice limited fat breakdown, utilized less energy, and produced more fat after meals than males. However, when dieting began at older ages, there was no significant difference in fat loss between the sexes, and female mice lost around half of their body fat, which was similar to males.

A small human study found that men under 45 lost 16% of their body fat in a four-week weight loss program, while females lost only 8%. However, there was no significant difference in fat loss between men and women over 45.

According to Dr. William Cawthorn, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh BHF Center for Cardiovascular Science, reduced-calorie diets have multiple health benefits, and previous research suggests that they may have varying effects on males and females. However, a recent study revealed that sex differences largely disappear when dieting begins at older ages.

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