Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): J. Appl. Physiol.
Page numbers: 1569-1570
doi (if applicable): 10.1152/japplphysiol.01152.2010
Both menopause and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to unhealthful lipid metabolism, an increased deposition of fat, and an increase in circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) in middle-aged and elderly women. Moreover, as a person ages, the capacity of oxygen consumption, lipid oxidation, and other metabolic processes are altered, making it more difficult and uncomfortable to exercise. In the same volume of this journal, Johnson et al. publish a study that found that postmenopausal women do indeed have the ability to improve their rates of lipid metabolism with 12 wks of endurance exercise. DiPietro points out the highlights of the Johnson study as well as compares their findings to other studies. For example, the Johnson study prudently uses both absolute and relative training protocols after the 12 wk exercise intervention to assess their effects on lipid metabolism, therefore avoiding questions related to potentially artifactual observations. The increase in abdominal obesity and high circulating FFAs exhibited by some postmenopausal women may influence the ability and/or the effectiveness of an exercise program. Fortunately, studies consistently show that older women can adapt to exercise programs and improve their health. Unfortunately, however, the studies suggest that very time- and work-intense programs are often necessary for any practical improvements of lipid metabolism.
Interpretation of findings/Key practice applications:
Post-menopausal women are able to adapt to exercise programs in order to improve the efficiency of total lipid metabolism. However, more research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms for prevention and adaptation of poor lipid metabolism.