Washington: Researchers have made a breakthrough, which could help explain why women tend to accumulate fat in the stereotypical `pear` shape, with more fat stored in the buttocks and thighs, and men in `apple` shape, with more fat around the belly.Gathering clues to answer these questions, Kathleen M. Gavin and her colleagues at East Carolina University examined how estrogen locally affects fat accumulation in these key areas by slowly infusing the hormone into the buttocks and belly in overweight women while also giving them drugs or having them exercise to speed up fat breakdown.The researchers found that estrogen`s effects on these fat deposits was highly dependent on the deposits` specific location and the fat-burning interventions themselves.Gavin and her team recruited 17 overweight-to-obese premenopausal women, all between the ages of 18 and 44 years old. After an initial visit to the lab to gather a variety of information on each study participant, including weight, height, percent fat and lean mass, and VO2 max (a measure of physical fitness), the researchers subjected each participant to a variety of interventions meant to speed up lipolysis, or fat breakdown/mobilization.Through probes inserted directly in the fat of the participants` buttocks and abdomen, the researchers slowly infused two drugs, either individually or together, that encourage lipolysis.
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