Scientists find pears healthier than apples

Scientists find pears healthier than apples

Okay before you question the reason behind our headline, this is to clarify that the fruits are not being discussed here. A group of scientists have figured out that fat usually accumulates around the hips for women, which results in a pear-shaped look. And in men, fat tends to build up around the belly, creating an apple shape. And that’s how they have established that it’s healthier to be a pear than an apple.

The research team from the University of California, Riverside, has found that while male mice experience neuroinflammation, activation of the response of immune system in the brain, when fed a high-fat diet, the females were unaffected.

In the study, the males showed low testosterone and reduced sperm count, in addition to neuroinflammation. And the researchers believe that females were protected against weight gain due to ovarian estrogen. The research paper, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, also showed that women gained weight after menopause because of a quick drop in estrogen.

Study lead, Djurdjica Coss, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the UCR School of Medicine said in the study, “We addressed this assumption by removing ovaries in young mice. We found that the mice proceed to gain weight when fed a high-fat diet, suggesting that ovarian hormones are indeed protective against weight gain. But we found, too, that these female mice exhibit neither neuroinflammation, nor changes in reproductive hormones, suggesting that they are protected by factors other than ovarian estrogen. This is a novel finding.”

“Mice on high-fat diet develop metabolic syndrome — a constellation of pathologies that includes Type 2 diabetes and insulin insensitivity — similarly to obese humans,” she said. “Obese men have lower testosterone levels, contributing to low libido, low energy, and reduced muscle strength. We see this in mice, too; obese male mice showed nearly 50 percent decreases in testosterone and sperm number. Obese women have difficulty with their menstrual cycles. They don’t ovulate. Obese female mice show the same, contributing to decreased fertility. Interestingly, 18 percent of couples in the United States now need medical interventions — hormonal treatments, in vitro fertilization — to conceive a child. Obesity is a likely factor.”

The team found that women and female mice deposit fat differently than their male counterparts. Females deposit fat internally, meaning below the skin. On the other hand, males accumulate fat in the body’s visceral region, which in turn may affect internal organs.

“While overweight, women are more protected than men where neuroinflammation is concerned. This could be an evolutionary protection for women, who need to experience more change in weight due to pregnancy. This protection is significantly curtailed when overweight women become obese and fat gathers around the waist,” concluded Dr. Coss. The team is now looking to explore, in mice, how abdominal weight is linked to neuroinflammation.

Published: September 13, 2018 7:28 pm