Weight Loss

5 Major Causes of WOMEN’S Stomach Fat

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5 Major Causes of WOMEN’S Stomach Fat – Thomas DeLauer

1) Minerals and Thyroid Function

Thyroid hormones act on almost every kind of cell in your body to increase cellular activity or metabolism

Because the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 control cellular metabolism throughout the body, when there is not enough of them for any reason, this metabolic function slows and becomes impaired.

T3 stimulates increases oxygen consumption and heat production by the mitochondria and stimulates the production of new mitochondria

Iodine & Tyrosine

As mentioned, the function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)

Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine

These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the bloodstream and are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism

Your thyroid converts tyrosine (the other building block) into thyroglobulin and attaches between one and four iodine atoms to create T1, T2, T3, and T4 respectively


The structure of thyroid hormone receptors contains zinc ions, crucial for the functional properties of the protein

So, in other words, zinc is necessary to trigger your hypothalamus’ thyroid hormone receptors, meaning that without enough zinc, your hypothalamus can’t accurately gauge thyroid hormone levels to increase production when levels are low


The enzyme that converts T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form), is a selenium-dependent enzyme (Iodothyronine 5′ deiodinase), so without enough selenium your thyroid hormones are stuck in their inactive state,

Sufficient levels of selenium also help prevent and reverse autoimmune thyroid

When your body converts iodide (the form iodine that you ingest, such as table salt, which is sodium iodide) into iodine, the process produces hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant and damages thyroid cells, which can trigger an autoimmune response

Selenium acts to neutralize the hydrogen peroxide, and research has shown that increasing selenium levels in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease reduces their level of thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb)

2) Low Fat/Calorie Diet

When you drop your calorie intake too low or place your body under stress in other ways, through injury or illness, less T4 is converted to T3

Instead, more is made into something called reverse T3

The problem with reverse T3 is it isn’t active – what it does do is bind to the same receptors that T3 does and makes it difficult for T3 to bind

3) Eating too Low of Protein

Study – JAMA

The low-protein, high-fat group stored more than 90% of their extra calories as fat, and the lack of dietary protein caused their loss of lean body mass

They were actually mobilizing some of their body’s proteins – those who ate normal- or high-protein diets, by contrast, stored only 50% of their extra calories as fat


4) Vitamin D/Sunlight

Study – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


When you have enough D in your bloodstream, fat cells slow their efforts to make and store fat

But when your Vitamin D is low, levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) rise



5) Stress/Lack of Sleep

A study published in The Journal of Brain & Behavior found that women are twice as likely to suffer from severe stress and anxiety as men

*This was put down to work relationships, and how they have a tougher time with social issues* There’s been a few surveys of this and it’s been associated with pay disparities


Lack of Sleep & Stress

Stress can cause the autonomic nervous system (ANS) to release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones raise the heart rate to circulate blood to vital organs and muscles more efficiently, preparing the body to take immediate action if necessary.

For one, stress can increase glutamate activity in the prefrontal cortex, hindering sleep

Additional Resources

1) https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/106/33/14075.full.pdf
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9415946
3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23182016
5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8834378

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