Oestrogen and metabolic regulation

19 July 2022

Oestrogen and metabolic regulation

Oestrogens are important players in our overall metabolic regulation. So, in menopause and late stages of perimenopause when we lose the main circulating oestrogen, 17b-estradiol, side effects can go way beyond reproductive health.

How is oestrogen beneficial to our metabolism?

Firstly, we need to understand what metabolism is - because it’s about much much more than weight management.

Metabolism is the life-sustaining chemical processes that enables us to transform the chemical energy stored in molecules called ATP into energy that is used for cellular processes: digesting, running the thyroid properly, firing brain cells - every cellular process!

Our dear friend Oestrogen snuggles into 1 of 3 receptors (ERa, ERb & GPER) & fires up that particular cells “metabolism”.

These receptors are in multiple tissue & organs of the body, which when activated have the following actions:

  1. Super charging our mitochondria - the battery in all our cells that generate the chemical energy needed to power the cell's biochemical actions
  2. Activating the insulin receptor
  3. Promotes the activity of brown fat that burn through calories
  4. Suppress appetite

A number of ‘pausal' women often suffer from low energy levels, muscle weakness, tiredness, reduced exercise capacity & susceptibility to weight gain. We now can appreciate that many of these symptoms may result from energy depletion due to lower mitochondrial activation & impaired insulin sensitivity & these receptors are not being activated by their partner in crime - oestrogen.

Knowing this provides us with targeted “treatment” options, depending on your case & contributing factors. HRT is one option for sure but there is no magic bullet. How you’ve lived your life to now, plays a MASSIVE part as to how the body can calibrate with this drop of oestrogen.

In health,