During menopause, when women’s estrogen levels decrease significantly, weight often begins to increase.

Losing weight during and after menopause is a difficult undertaking for many women. A new synthetic hormone treatment might change that.

A recent study looked at three groups of healthy, postmenopausal women. One group, the control group, received no treatment.

A second group received conventional hormone replacement therapy with conjugated estrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate. A third group received Tibolone, a synthetic hormone.weightloss

After six months, women in the control group had gained weight. Their levels of leptin, the natural hormone that is responsible for regulating fat metabolism, were decreased.

Lower levels of leptin may explain the tendency of women to gain weight after menopause. The women who received conventional hormone therapy kept their weight consistent, and their leptin levels were higher.

The women in the Tibolone group had decreased leptin levels, but they also had decreased total fat, decreased body fat percentages and an increase in lean muscle mass. The last one is especially significant as lean muscle mass helps the body burn more calories.

It is too soon to know if Tibolone will replace conventional hormone replacement therapy, but it may offer hope to menopausal women who struggle with their weight.