December 6, 2023

Medical Trend

Medical News and Medical Resources

Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity

Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity


Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity

In the past decade, the brain has been recognized as an insulin-sensitive organ.

Insulin crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts on specialized neurons and glial cells.

In humans, insulin regulates the activity of specific brain regions, including the hypothalamus, which in turn influences insulin release to the periphery, regulating food intake and whole-body metabolism.

Furthermore, research has suggested that brain insulin’s regulation of whole-body metabolism may exhibit gender differences, but such studies have primarily focused on healthy young men.

On September 21, 2023, researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany published a research paper in the journal “Nature Metabolism” titled “Brain insulin action on peripheral insulin sensitivity in women depends on menstrual cycle phase.”

This study, conducted through a randomized clinical trial involving 11 women, unveils the regulation of brain insulin sensitivity during different phases of the menstrual cycle.


Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity


Martin Heni and his team examined the impact of brain insulin in 11 women during the follicular phase (from the first day of menstruation to ovulation) and the luteal phase (from ovulation to the next menstrual cycle). These women underwent four high-insulin euglycemic clamps, a technique to assess insulin sensitivity.

The research team measured brain insulin activity by intranasally administering insulin and compared it to a non-insulin placebo spray. They found that during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, brain insulin sensitivity increased, while no such effect was observed during the luteal phase.


Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity

They also performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on an additional 15 women to assess insulin sensitivity in the hippocampus, a specific brain region. Similar insulin sensitivity was observed during the follicular phase, but not during the luteal phase. The authors suggest that the brain exhibits higher insulin sensitivity during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, and brain insulin resistance during the luteal phase may contribute to whole-body insulin resistance.

In the same issue of “Nature Metabolism,” a news and views article by Nils Kroemer emphasized that this study demonstrates the critical role of brain insulin in regulating whole-body insulin sensitivity throughout the menstrual cycle. Additionally, the observed increase in insulin sensitivity in the hypothalamus and changes in projections from the hypothalamus to reward circuits may explain the reported variations in weight control, appetite, and dietary impulses commonly observed in the late luteal phase, a time of central insulin sensitivity reduction.




Research Paper Link.


Menstrual Cycle May Affect Insulin Sensitivity

(source:internet, reference only)

Disclaimer of

Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.