HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessReducing Blood Sugar Improves Fertility in Obese Women - New Study

Reducing Blood Sugar Improves Fertility in Obese Women – New Study

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Lowering blood glucose levels can help obese women regain some of their reproductive hormones, according to research in the Journal of Endocrinology.

The study shows that a common type 2 diabetes drug that lowers blood glucose levels may help restore some of the normal levels of reproductive hormones in a well-known mouse model of obesity.

Many obese women who have fertility problems also have abnormal amounts of reproductive hormones. There is currently no effective treatment for this.

The development of a medicine that improves women’s metabolic health while also treating obesity-related infertility would be a tremendous step forward, with the potential to enhance the lives of many individuals.

Despite the fact that fertility issues are well-known among obese women, there is a dearth of effective and tailored treatments to address them.

Obesity is a major health pandemic, and more women are experiencing reproductive issues as a result. Obesity-related fertility concerns are complicated, but data suggests that they may be linked in part to changes in energy metabolism, which can lead to changes in reproductive hormone levels, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Obese people are more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes, and they frequently have high blood glucose levels as well as other metabolic abnormalities.

The MC4R gene knock-out (KO) mouse is a well-known model of obesity. It has irregular reproductive cycles and different hormone levels, which cause its fertility to decrease. The mouse reproductive cycle is similar to that of humans in that hormone levels change in a similar way, but it is much shorter. Because of this, the MC4R KO mouse is a good, representative model for initial studies of metabolic and reproductive function in obesity.

Dapagliflozin is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels and improves other metabolic markers, although its effects on reproductive health and fertility have yet to be studied.

Dapagliflozin treatment in obese MC4R mice was studied by Professor Chen and colleagues from the Australia’s University of Queensland. They looked at metabolic health and levels of reproductive hormones.

After just 8 weeks of treatment, compared to mice that weren’t treated, their blood glucose levels were normal, their body weight was down, their reproductive cycle was back to normal, and their levels of reproductive hormones and ovulation were partly back to normal.

“We often see low fertility in women with obesity in clinical practice,” says Dr. Cui, a visiting fellow from Chengdu Women and Children Hospital in China, “so this research provides hope for a future, effective treatment.”

These findings imply that using dapagliflozin to normalize blood glucose metabolism in obese people could be a promising way to at least partially restore reproductive function. ” This could improve fertility in women where no other successful therapy is currently available,” adds  Professor Chen.

“Although encouraging, these studies were conducted in mice and much more work needs to be done to confirm that these findings could be replicated effectively in women,” Professor Chen adds. Obese people, on the other hand, “are at much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so the known health benefits of correcting blood glucose levels may be extended to also improving fertility in those affected.”

The researchers now plan to look at the therapeutic effects of dapagliflozin for improving reproductive function, as well as the molecular processes involved, in order to find better targets for future fertility treatments in women.

Image Credit: Getty

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