K. H. Hoe Pharmacal Sdn Bhd
Even the slimmest types end up broader in the beam – and once that fat is there, we all know how tough it is to shift, stubbornly defying even the most rigorous diet and exercise regimens.
The worry is that your tummy flab isn’t just unattractive, it’s also unhealthy, as it’s a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
It doesn’t matter how hard we fight it, middle age just seems to bring out the bulge.
But it’s not necessarily your diet – or lack of self discipline – that’s to blame, says American gynaecologist and pharmacist, Dr C W Randolph.
He claims midlife spread in both men and women is the result of hormonal imbalance, specifically too little progesterone and too much oestrogen. And the problem with too much oestrogen is that the hormone acts like a fat magnet, locking it in around your middle.
As Dr Randolph explains, in a healthy person there is a finely-tuned balance between the three sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. But as we age, that balance changes.
As a woman reaches her mid-30s, her levels of progesterone – which is produced in the ovaries and is essential for fertility – start to decline.
While most women approaching menopause will know their oestrogen levels drop, few realise that progesterone production declines even more rapidly – 120 times faster than oestrogen, says Dr Randolph.
This progesterone drop also occurs much earlier, at a time when a woman’s oestrogen levels are still good. The result: oestrogen ‘dominance’.