Estrogen and Fat Loss

Estrogen and fat loss 

By Daniel Rocha 


Estrogens and estrogen receptors regulate various aspects of glucose and lipid metabolism. Disturbances of this metabolic signal lead to the development of the metabolic syndrome and a higher cardiovascular risk. The absence of estrogens can lead to cardiovascular disease during the menopausal period, characterized by lipid profile variations and predominant abdominal fat accumulation.


Sex steroids regulate adipocyte metabolism and influence the sex-specific remodeling of particular adipose depots. This means they control fat distribution.  Men have less total body fat but more central/intra-abdominal adipose tissue, whereas women have more body fat centered around the gluteal/femoral and subcutaneous tissues. Weight and fat abdominal distribution differ among women of reproductive age and menopausal women. The decrease in estrogen levels in menopausal women leads to the loss of subcutaneous fat but an increase in abdominal fat. Subcutaneous fat accumulation increases in men undergoing estrogen hormonal therapy. 


Lipolysis in humans is controlled primarily by the action of β-adrenergic receptors (lipolytic) and α2A-adrenergic receptors (antilipolytic). Estrogen seems to promote and maintain the typical female fat distribution characterized by an increase of fatty tissue, especially in subcutaneous fat, with a modest accumulation of intra-abdominal adipose tissue. 


Estrogens, directly and indirectly, modulate molecules involved in orexigenic action, which induces increased food intake. Estrogen receptors regulate neuronal activity and reproductive behaviors. 


As women enter menopause, there is a decline in circulating estrogen, causing alterations in energy resulting in increases in intra-abdominal body fat. Estrogens regulate glucose metabolism via the direct and indirect control of enzymes that are involved in the process. 


Estrogens promote fat deposition after sexual maturation and change a patient's lipid profile. This means that body fat increases in menopausal women. Menopausal women are three times more likely to develop obesity and metabolic syndrome abnormalities than premenopausal women. 


This promotes estrogen/progestin-based hormone replacement therapy in menopausal women, lowering visceral adipose tissue, fasting serum glucose, and insulin levels. Estrogens also reduce the cardiovascular risk factors that increase during menopause. This is all positive news for estrogen therapy. 


In my opinion, work with your doctor on only using the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration. I will note that estrogen hormone therapy is much more complicated than testosterone therapy. So not as easy to balance. But once hormones are balanced, you feel terrific, and your body works with you. You see results faster and maintain these results longer with the right amount of hormones. 



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Lizcano, F., & Guzmán, G. (2014). Estrogen Deficiency and the Origin of Obesity during Menopause. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from

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