Metabolism involves all chemical process of every single cell in the body. Proper cell function produces proper endocrine function, which produces homeostasis and metabolic health. Being lean or overweight has less to do than your metabolic health status.
Your exercise level, appropriate energy balance, sleep, sunlight and good nutrition all affect your body on a cellular level. Supporting proper cellular function supports health on a systemic level. A recent team of researchers calculated that women who were metabolically unhealthy had a 49 percent increased risk for colorectal cancer relative to those who were metabolically healthy. The aim of the study was to compare the risk of colorectal cancer in normal-weight postmenopausal women who were characterized by either the metabolically healthy phenotype or the metabolically unhealthy phenotype. They concluded that normal-weight women should still be evaluated for metabolic health and appropriate steps taken to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.
A woman’s metabolism is considered unhealthy when she suffers from the following symptoms:
- Elevated waist circumference
- Elevated blood pressure
- Elevated levels of triglycerides
- Elevated levels of glucose
- Lower levels of HDL-C.
The most common metabolic disorders in menopause include dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
After menopause the incidence of obesity increases, including visceral (android) obesity. Such fat distribution promotes the occurrence of a number of metabolic disorders, including fully manifested metabolic syndrome, and enhances the development of atherosclerosis. Intra-abdominal fat cells produce a number of substances with an impact on inflammatory responses, insulin resistance and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Some molecules, directly synthesized by adipocytes are called “adipokines”. These include adipocytokines, such as leptin, adiponectin, resistin, ghrelin. They control energy balance and appetite, and influence insulin sensitivity via endocrine mechanisms, they also modulate adipocyte size/number and angiogenesis via paracrine mechanisms, thus exerting a major role in the regulation of fat mass. Furthermore, they can also exert a role in the control of blood pressure, lipoprotein metabolism, coagulation, immunity and inflammation.
Menopausal women are characterized by elevated levels of leptin and resistin and decreased levels of adiponectin and ghrelin (‘high’ leptin together with ‘low’ adiponectin show a positive correlation with insulin resistance markers). In postmenopause, excess fat also results in an increased production of endogenous estrogen, resulting from occurring in situ extra glandular aromatization.
Lifestyle Modifications Recommended
- Incorporating Moderate physical activity (at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least three times a week, optionally in combination with two exercise sessions with load).
- Healthy diet, for example, < 5 γ of salt per day (British Hypertension Society guidelines), less than 300 mg of cholesterol/day, 1 γ of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day, which could be achieved, inter alia, by reducing fat intake (including saturated fats) and carbohydrates intake (including sugars), increased consumption of fruit, vegetables and marine fish. Dietary fiber can help keep body weight in check and improve the metabolism of carbohydrates.
- Giving up smoking and alcohoL
- Drinking 5- 6 cups of green tea daily.
- Taking Probiotics Daily: According to a study published by Cambridge University Press probiotics, modify microbiota in the gut, strengthen metabolic and colon health. Numerous experimental studies have reported reduction in incidence of tumours and cancers after feeding specific food products with a prebiotic effect. Dietary intake of particular food products with a prebiotic effect has been shown, tentatively in postmenopausal women, to increase Ca absorption as well as bone Ca accretion and bone mineral density. Recent data, both from experimental models and from human studies, support the beneficial effects of particular food products with prebiotic properties on energy homaeostasis, satiety regulation and body weight gain.
- Increased Intellectual activity. Such measures should lead to body weight normalization aiming at BMI levels below 25 kg/m2. Obviously, such a course of action could prove to be inadequate and additional pharmacological treatment of insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidemia or hypertension could be required.
- Building muscle—through weight lifting or other resistance exercises—will help, too. Muscle burns calories and helps you maintain your metabolic rate. The more muscle you have, the bigger your body’s engine, and the more likely you will be to burn fat.
Maintaining metabolic health is important for both genders and at all ages.