Estrogens influence lipid metabolism and body fat distribution in women. Premenopausal women have increased
lipoprotein lipase action in abdominal and femoral subcutaneous fat compared with men of the same age. Estrogens
may also affect adipose tissue either directly through specific estrogen receptors or indirectly via their effects on
other tissues. As adipose tissue produces several cytokines including leptin, adiponectin and interleukin-6, estrogens may
alter their levels, thus influencing various biological processes. Lack of estrogens such as in menopause, causes an increase
in visceral adiposity, leading to changes in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Due to those alterations, postmenopausal
women are more prone to coronary heart disease. In this review the influence of estrogens on body mass index,
lipid metabolism and some of the therapeutic options will be analyzed.
Keywords: Body fat, coronary heart disease, estrogens, hormone replacement therapy, lipids, menopause.
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