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Weight loss goes better after menopause

The lean body mass of women who are past the menopause stands up better to weight loss attempts than that of younger women. Researchers in Freiburg, Germany discovered this when they did an experiment with a group of women, average age 43, and a group of post-menopausal women, average age 58.

Weight loss goes better after menopause
Many researchers still believe that growth of fat reserves after menopause is unavoidable. This idea was started by Eric Poehlman, an American researcher who until recently was regarded as 'the' expert on the menopause. Poehlman claimed that post-menopausal women needed hormone therapy to stay healthy. But the guy cooked his research results, and not just a bit. He was given a jail sentence, but his studies continue to mislead scientists even today. [Wikipedia]

The researchers here got their women subjects, all of whom had a BMI of just above 30, to replace 1-2 meals a day for 24 weeks with a shake containing Almased, based on yogurt and soya. One shake contained 180 kcal, 1.5 g fat, 16 g carbohydrates and 25 g protein.

The Almased Wellness Corporation [] financed the study.

For the first six weeks of their diet the women ate 1000 kcal/day. For the last 18 weeks the researchers increased the subjects' intake to 1500 kcal/day. The women did endurance training twice a week for an hour.

Weight loss goes better after menopause

Bw = body weight, fm = fat mass.

In the women in the pre-menopausal group, 21 percent of the weight lost was lean body mass; in the women in the post-menopausal group this percentage was almost nil. The women in the pre-menopausal group did lose more abdominal fat. This fat is more dangerous than other kinds of fat, researchers believe.

Weight loss goes better after menopause

Weight loss goes better after menopause

The blood values of the post-menopausal women were worse than those of the younger women before the experiment started, but improved considerably as a result of the weight-loss regime. The values that say something about sensitivity to insulin and heart attack risk improved more in the post-menopausal women than in the younger women.

So weight loss after menopause is not only more successful, but also leads to bigger health gains, the Germans conclude.

Nutr J. 2007 Oct 25; 6: 31.

Strength training keeps women in better shape than hormone replacement therapy 25.01.2010