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From the article:
“We know as women age and enter into menopause, they tend to gain body weight and body fat, particularly in the abdominal or ‘belly’ area. Excess abdominal fat greatly increases risk for cardio-metabolic diseases,” says Solomon. “While there are likely many factors that are associated with these risks in menopausal women, estrogen loss is associated with body weight and fat gain during menopause. In fact, estrogen treatment can offset this weight gain in many women.”
The medial amygdala (MeA) is a region of the brain that helps regulate body weight and contains an abundance of estrogen receptors (molecules that respond to estrogen). The researchers used an experimental model in rats, which involves removing the ovaries to mimic the hormonal changes of menopause. They targeted estrogen replacement directly in the MeA and found that it prevented weight and abdominal fat gain and improved glucose tolerance, compared to rats in a placebo group. This suggests that the MeA is important in the metabolic health of menopausal females and may be a useful target for treatment.