Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University published the study.
Your skin is made up of three layers – the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is the deepest layer of your skin. As per a new study, subcutaneous fat will protect against brain inflammation in premenopausal women. Generally, inflammation can cause issues like dementia and stroke.
Women generally have a larger proportion of body mass as fat, and are more likely to deposit fat subcutaneously and on their lower extremities; men are more likely to deposit fat in the abdominal region. Subcutaneous fat is a type of fat that’s stored just beneath your skin. This fat, found in female bodies are more likely to get stored in areas like the backs of their arms, hips, and buttocks. Visceral fat generally found more in men, is highly inflammatory. It is more likely to build around the major organs in the abdomen in men of all age. Men are more likely than premenopausal women to accumulate abdominal visceral fat.
The accumulation of abdominal visceral fat in men is a predictor of mortality. This is primarily due to their abdominal visceral fat’s higher dietary fat uptake. Men are also thought to be at a higher risk for diseases associated to inflammation. The diseases such as heart attacks and stroke affect men before pre-menopausal women.
According to Alexis M. Stranahan, PhD, the corresponding author of a study published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes, diet and heredity are two more probable explanations for the variations generally attributed to oestrogen. She knows that the results could be revolutionary, heretical, and even shocking.
Subcutaneous fat & female brain:
Scientists studied changes in levels of sex hormones and brain inflammation in male and female mice at various time points. This is as they grew fatter on a high-fat diet to understand more about how the brain becomes inflamed.
Scientists theorized that obese female mice tend to have more subcutaneous fat and less visceral fat than male mice. The unique fat patterns may be a major factor in the protection from inflammation that women experience before menopause.
In response to a high-fat meal, they once more discovered the unique patterns of fat distribution in men and women. Until the female mice reached menopause, they detected no signs of brain inflammation or insulin resistance. Menstruation finishes about 48 weeks, and the fat distribution in females begins to shift slightly toward that of males.
Team removed subcutaneous fat to see the effects:
Following surgery to remove subcutaneous fat, they evaluated how mice of both sexes responded to a high-fat diet. They didn’t perform any actions like ovarian removal that would have directly affected the amounts of natural estrogen.
Subcutaneous fat reduction elevated brain inflammation in females while having no effect on estrogen and other sex hormones. Higher amounts of IL-1 and TNF alpha are known to induce inflammation. They were found in the brains of the women, similar to that of the men.
As researchers removed subcutaneous fat from the scenario, the female brains began to show inflammation. This is the same way male brains do, and the females accumulated more visceral fat. Everything was pushed in the direction of that other storage area. The change took place over a period of around three months or several years in human time.
Consequently, the brain inflammation levels in the females who did not have their subcutaneous fat removed but consumed a high-fat diet did not match those in the males until after menopause.
The mice on a low-fat diet had their subcutaneous fat removed at a young age. In turn, this led to a rise in mice’s visceral fat and adipose tissue inflammation. But there was no sign of inflammation in the brain, according to Stranahan and her associates.
Key takeaway of the research:
Don’t get liposuction and then consume a high-fat diet, advises Stranahan as one takeaway from the studies.
Another point to consider is BMI, which divides weight by height. And it is often used to identify overweight, obesity, and an elevated risk of various diseases. But it is not a helpful tool. It is easier to calculate a waist-to-hip ratio. Also, it is a more reliable and easy indicator of metabolic risk and possible brain health.
The hypothalamus regulates metabolism and experiences changes from inflammation brought on by obesity. The hippocampus is a brain region involved in memory and learning,
The recent study focused on the brain’s hippocampus and hypothalamus.