This Is the Hormone Responsible for Middle-Age Weight Gain

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Whether your trouble area lies around your belly, thighs or arms, it may seem like fat on your body has gotten more stubborn and hard to kick as time goes on—specifically, in conjunction with your middle-aged years or menopause. Sound familiar? If so, listen up. Researchers have just uncovered a link between this exact type of weight gain and the hormone FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). 

For too long, FSH has been labeled as the hormone that’s in charge of simply stimulating the production of eggs in women and sperm in men, but it’s now been shown to be responsible for so much more.

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The study began when New York endocrinologist Mone Zaidi, MD, also a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, was conducting research that attempted to link FSH levels with bone loss. To test it, he and his colleagues created an antibody that blocked FSH in female mice whose ovaries had been removed. As he awaited the results (he expected their bones to filled with fat), he found a surprising result.

Dr. Zaidi’s study found that blocking the hormone solved the problem of unwanted weight gain and bone loss, while also increasing calories burned, reducing abdominal fat, slowing down bone decay and even encouraging physical activity in the process.

So what does this mean for middle-aged women? Dr. Zaidi is currently planning on conducting a similar anti-FSH test on humans, so we’ll keep you posted. For now, we’re hopeful, as the results in humans are still unclear. “The dream of an easy way to prevent abdominal weight gain is so appealing, you just want it to be true,” Philipp E. Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told the New York TimesWe couldn’t agree more. 

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