Fat Metabolism And Gender: Do Women Have It Harder?

Fat metabolism is what’s typically referred to as the fatty acid breakdown within the body that provides energy for function. Extra glucose or sugar that our body does not use is stored as fat. The process within the body of forming glycogen from that glucose is called Glycogenolysis. When our bodies break that fat down, it is said to be in a state of ketosis. For optimal weight loss, both the male and female body must metabolize dietary sugars, fats, and fat stores into usable energy–burning more than we store.

Does Gender Play a Role in Fat Production and Storage?

Studies indicate that women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men and a higher rate of fat storage. Also, women store more fat in the hips and thighs, while men store more fat in the stomach area. Studies indicate that fat in the leg regions are higher in women than men, but the upper body fat distribution is similar. 

Do Men Metabolize Fat Easier?

While men generally have lower body fat percentages than women, studies are showing a slower rate of free fatty acid released by the upper body in men than woman. 

Surprisingly, much evidence also supports that woman receive more energy, derived from fat, in the process known as the Krebs Cycle than men do. The Krebs Cycle is a series of complex chemical reactions in the cell that produces carbon dioxide and energy (known as Adenosine triphosphate or ATP). All cells must go through the cycle to produce energy.

Does Gender Play a Role in Fat Metabolization During Exercise?

The percent of fat metabolized by men during exercise process averages 44% and about 51% for the women. There is also some evidence that hormones and hormone sensitivity plays a role in fat metabolism during exercise, although more studies are needed.


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