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Does HRT change body fat distribution?

Written by John Smyth - February 13, 2023

Does HRT Change Body Fat Distribution?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a way to restore hormone levels in the body, allowing it to function more efficiently. Many people use HRT to reduce the effects of aging or menopause, and some studies have found that it can even influence body fat distribution. But does HRT actually change body fat distribution, and if so, how?

The answer to this question is not straightforward; there is no single definitive answer that applies to everyone. However, research shows that hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial for those looking to improve their body fat distribution in certain ways.

Modulating Estrogen Levels

Estrogen plays a key role in regulating body fat distribution; when estrogen levels drop too low, it can lead to an accumulation of belly fat. Replacing hormones through HRT has been shown to help restore hormonal balance and reduce abdominal fat in women going through menopause. One study conducted by researchers at Stanford University saw a significant reduction in abdominal fat among post-menopausal women who were undergoing hormone replacement therapy for nine months.

Likewise, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has been shown to reduce belly fat and redistribute it more evenly throughout the body for some individuals. This redistribution typically occurs within two months of starting TRT and can continue over time as long as the patient stays on the appropriate regimen of hormones.

Effects on Metabolism

In addition to modulating estrogen levels, studies have also found that HRT can affect metabolism by increasing metabolic rate and helping the body burn more calories. This effect is especially pronounced when combined with regular exercise; one study saw participants burning 30% more calories during activity after just four weeks of hormone therapy. The increased metabolism helps burn off excess fat, which helps improve overall body composition and reduces belly fat.

Benefits Outside of Body Fat Distribution

While it’s true that hormone replacement therapy has been linked with improved body fat distribution, there are numerous other benefits associated with HRT as well. These include better skin elasticity and less wrinkles; improved moods; increased energy levels; reduced risk of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease; improved memory; reduced anxiety, depression, and stress levels; increased libido; better sleep cycles; healthier cholesterol levels; decreased menstrual cramping for women experiencing menopause transitions; decreased hot flushes/night sweats symptoms for perimenopausal women; improved immune system functioning due to better nutrient absorption from food sources...the list goes on!

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