Why do we lose muscle tissue and gain fat as we age?

Health Tips

The traditional explanation boils down to a simple one: “With age, the metabolism slows down.” Well, once the metabolism, then you and I to the endocrinologist.

Hormones help the body to adapt from the inside to the external environment. They regulate the activity of all its cells and processes, affect both metabolism and the amount of fat and muscle tissue. But the metabolism of adipose tissue in men and women is regulated differently.

Among women

Estrogens are female sex hormones. With sufficient concentration in the body, they prevent the accumulation of excess fat mass. According to statistics, women with a high concentration of estrogen are less likely to have problems with weight (ceteris paribus, of course).

The production of sex hormones is influenced by the activity of the pituitary gland, which decreases with age. The level of estrogen falls – the proportion of fat increases. But this does not have any noticeable effect on muscle mass.

In men

Age-related weight gain in men is associated with many factors, the most obvious of which is androgen deficiency. Androgen deficiency syndrome is characterized by a deficiency of the male sex hormone testosterone, which is responsible for the final formation of male genital organs, the appearance of vegetation on the body, stimulates muscle growth and fat burning. Symptoms of androgen deficiency include a decrease in concentration and attention, a decrease in sexual desire.

As numerous studies have shown, in men, both fat and muscle mass are directly related to the concentration of testosterone. With low testosterone, the proportion of fat increases, and muscle tone and mass decrease. As a result, the man gains weight.

The saddest thing is that this is a vicious circle: the presence of excess fat negatively affects the production of sex hormones and overall health. The risks of such diseases as dyslipidemia (increased cholesterol), diabetes mellitus, hypertension (increased blood pressure) increase. Therefore, with excess weight it is necessary to start the fight when the problem is only outlined.

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