Skip to main content
×
Home

Lipid metabolism in women

  • Christine M. Williams (a1)
Abstract

Differences in whole-body lipid metabolism between men and women are indicated by lower-body fat accumulation in women but more marked accumulation of fat in the intra-abdominal visceral fat depots of men. Circulating blood lipid concentrations also show gender-related differences. These differences are most marked in premenopausal women, in whom total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations are lower and HDL-cholesterol concentration is higher than in men. Tendency to accumulate body fat in intra-abdominal fat stores is linked to increased risk of CVD, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other insulin-resistant states. Differential regional regulation of adipose tissue lipolysis and lipogenesis must underlie gender-related differences in the tendency to accumulate fat in specific fat depots. However, empirical data to support current hypotheses remain limited at the present time because of the demanding and specialist nature of the methods used to study adipose tissue metabolism in human subjects. In vitro and in vivo data show greater lipolytic sensitivity of abdominal subcutaneous fat and lesser lipolytic sensitivity of femoral and gluteal subcutaneous fat in women than in men. These differences appear to be due to fewer inhibitory α adrenergic receptors in abdominal regions and greater α adrenergic receptors in gluteal and femoral regions in women than in men. There do not appear to be major gender-related differences in rates of fatty acid uptake (lipogenesis) in different subcutaneous adipose tissue regions. In visceral fat rates of both lipolysis and lipogenesis appear to be greater in men than in women; higher rates of lipolysis may be due to fewer α adrenergic receptors in this fat depot in men. Fatty acid uptake into this depot in the postprandial period is approximately 7-fold higher in men than in women. Triacylglycerol concentrations appear to be a stronger cardiovascular risk factor in women than in men, with particular implications for cardiovascular risk in diabetic women. The increased triacylglycerol concentrations observed in women taking hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) may explain the paradoxical findings of increased rates of CVD in women taking HRT that have been reported from recent primary and secondary prevention trials of HRT.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Lipid metabolism in women
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Lipid metabolism in women
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Lipid metabolism in women
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Professor C. M. Williams, fax +44 1189 318703, email c.m.williams@reading.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Ariyo AA & Villablanca AC (2002) Estrogens and lipids. Postgraduate Medicine 111, 2330.
Arner P (1995) Differences in lipolysis between human subcutaneous and omental adipose tissues. Annals of Medicine 27, 435438.
Arner P (1999) Catecholamine-induced lipolysis in obesity. International Journal of Obesity 23, 1013.
Arner P, Kriegholm E, Engfeldt P & Bolinder J (1990) Adrenergic regulation of lipolysis in situ at rest and during exercise. Journal of Clinical Investigation 85, 893898.
Bjorntorp P (1985) Regional patterns of fat distribution. Annals of Internal Medicine 103, 994995.
Blaak E (2001) Gender differences in fat metabolism. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 4, 499502.
Blum A & Cannon RO III (2001) Selective estrogen receptor modulator effects on serum lipoproteins and vascular function in postmenopausal women and in hypercholesterolemic men. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 949, 168174.
Corbalán MS, Marti A, Forga L, Martínez-González MA, Marti$?$nez JA (2002) β 2 -Adrenergic receptor mutation and abdominal obesity risk: Effect modification by gender and HDL-cholesterol. European Journal of Nutrition 41, 114118.
Couillard C, Bergeron N, Prud'homme D, Bergeron J, Tremblay A, Bouchard C, Mauriège P & Després JP (1999) Gender difference in postprandial lipemia. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 19, 24482455.
Hellstrom L, Blaak E & Hagstrom-Toft E (1996) Gender differences in adrenergic regulation of lipid mobilization during exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine 17, 439447.
Jensen MD (1995) Gender differences in regional fatty acid metabolism before and after meal ingestion. Journal of Clinical Investigation 96, 22972303.
Jensen MD (1997) Lipolysis: Contribution from regional fat. Annual Review of Nutrition 17, 127139.
Jensen MD, Cryer PE, Johnson CM & Murray MJ (1996) Effects of epinephrine on regional free fatty acid and energy metabolism in men and women. Annual Review of Physiology 33, 259264.
Kawamura T, Egusa G, Fujikawa R & Okubo M (2001) β 3 -Adrenergic receptor gene variant is associated with upper body obesity only in Japanese-American men but not in women. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 54, 4955.
Kissebah AH, Vydelingum N, Murray R, Evans DJ, Hartz AJ, Kalkhoff RK & Adams PW (1982) Relation of body fat distribution to metabolic complications of obesity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 54, 254260.
Klein KP & Herrington DM (2002) Effects of estrogens and selective estrogen receptor modulators on indicators of cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women. Medscape Womens Health Journal 7, 2.
Kortner B, Wolf A, Wendt D, Beisegel U & Evans D (1999) Lack of association between a human beta-2 adrenoceptor gene polymorphism (gln27glu) and morbid obesity. International Journal of Obesity 23, 10991100.
Kotani K, Tokunaga K, Fujioka S, Kobatake T, Keno Y, Yoshida S, Shimomura I, Tarui S & Matsuzaw Y (1994) Sexual dimorphism of age-related changes in whole-body fat distribution in the obese. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 18, 207212.
Large V, Hellstrom L, Reynisdottir S, Lonnqvist F, Eriksson P, Lannfelt L & Arner P (1997) Human beta-2 adrenoceptor gene polymorphisms are highly frequent in obesity and associate with altered adipocyte beta-2 adrenoceptor function. Journal of Clinical Investigation 100, 30053013.
Lemieux S, Prud'homme D, Bouchard C, Tremblay A Deprés J-P (1993) Sex differences in the relation of visceral adipose tissue accumulation to total body fatness. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 58, 463467.
Ley CJ, Lees B & Stevenson JC (1992) Sex- and menopause-associated changes in body-fat distribution. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55, 950954.
Marin P, Oden B & Björntorp P (1995) Assimilation and mobilization of triglycerides in subcutaneous abdominal and femoral adipose tissue in vivo in men: effects of androgens. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 80, 239243.
Marin P, Lonn L, Andersson B, Oden B, Olbe L, Bengtsson B-A & Björntorp P (1996) Assimilation of triglycerides in subcutaneous and intraabdominal adipose tissues in vivo in men: effects of testosterone. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 81, 10181022.
Mattiasson I, Rendell M, Tornquist C, Jeppsson & Hulthien UL (2002) Effects of estrogen replacement therapy on abdominal fat compartments as related to glucose and lipid metabolism in early postmenopausal women. Hormone and Metabolic Research 34, 583588.
Merkel M, Eckel RH & Goldberg IJ (2002) Lipoprotein lipase: genetics, lipid uptake, and regulation. Journal Lipid Research 43, 19972006.
Millet L, Barbe P & Lafontan M (1998) Catecholamine effects on lipolysis and blood flow in human abdominal and femoral adipose tissue. Journal of Applied Physiology 85, 181188.
Nguyen TT, Mijares AH, Johnson CM & Jensen MD (1996) Postprandial leg and splanchnic fatty acid metabolism in nonobese men and women. American Journal Physiology 271, E965E972.
Oberkofler H, Esterbauer H, Hell E, Krempler F & Patsch W (2000) The Gln27Glu polymorphism in the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene is not associated with morbid obesity in Austrian women. International Journal of Obesity 24, 388390.
Perseghin G, Scifo P, Pagliato E, Battezzati A, Benedini S, Soldini L, Testolin G, Del Maschio A & Luzi L (2001) Gender factors affect fatty acids-induced insulin resistance in nonobese humans: Effects of oral steroidal contraception. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 86, 31883196.
Ray S, Rastogi R & Kumar A (2002) Current status of estrogen receptors. Progress in Drug Research 59, 202232.
Rebuffé-Scrive , Andersson B, Olbe L & Bjorntorp P (1989) Metabolism of adipose tissue in intraabdominal depots of nonobese men and women. Metabolism 38, 453458.
Richelsen B (1986) Increased α 2 - but similar β-adrenergic receptor activities in subcutaneous gluteal adipocytes from females compared with males. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 16, 302309.
Romanski SA, Nelson RM & Jensen MD (2000) Meal fatty acid uptake in adipose tissue: gender effects in non obese humans. American Journal of Physiology 279, E455E462.
Stampfer MJ & Colditz GA (1991) Estrogen replacement and coronary heart disease: a quantitative assessment of the epidemiologic evidence. Preventive Medicine 20, 4763.
Wahrenberg H, Lonnqvist F & Arner P (1989) Mechanisms underlying regional differences in lipolysis in human adipose tissue. Journal of Clinical Investigation 84, 458467.
Williams CM (1997) Cardiovascular risk factors in women. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 56, 383391.
Writing Group for the WHI Investigators (2002) Risks and benefits of estrogen and progestin in healthy postmenopausal women. Principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 288, 321333.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • ISSN: 0029-6651
  • EISSN: 1475-2719
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 221 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 361 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.