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Effects of Estrogen Deficiency on Energy Expenditure

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified April 2013 by University of Colorado, Denver
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Colorado, Denver Identifier:
First received: April 30, 2013
Last updated: May 3, 2013
Last verified: April 2013

Menopause is associated with weight gain, but the reasons why are not clear. In this study, the investigators will determine if reducing estrogen levels causes a decrease in the ability of the body to produce heat. If so, this would suggest this is one way that menopause may cause weight gain.

Condition Intervention
Drug: Estrogen suppression

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Ovarian Function and Facultative Thermogenesis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Colorado, Denver:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Brown adipose tissue activity [ Time Frame: 3 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Brown adipose tissue activity will be measured using PET/CT before and after 3 months of estrogen suppression

Estimated Enrollment: 12
Study Start Date: April 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: May 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date: May 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Estrogen suppression
Estrogen production will be suppressed using Lupron, a drug that blocks normal production of ovarian hormones
Drug: Estrogen suppression
Estrogen production will be suppressed for 3 months by administering a drug, lupron, that suppresses ovarian function
Other Name: Lupron

Detailed Description:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of the female sex hormone estrogen, on metabolism, thermoregulation and energy expenditure. Weight and fat gain increase after the menopause, but reasons for this are not clear. Loss of estrogen may cause changes in how women regulate metabolism and thermoregulation, possibly leading to weight gain. Specifically, this study will determine how loss of estrogen affects facultative thermogenesis. Loosely defined, facultative thermogenesis represents heat production that is turned on when needed. For example, when body core temperature falls below a certain threshold, a shivering response is invoked in skeletal muscle to increase heat production and, thus, energy expenditure. However, exposure over several hours to mild cold temperatures that do not trigger shivering (16-20⁰ C) also induces an increase in energy expenditure (cold-induced non-shivering thermogenesis). Although several different tissues may contribute to this response, the recent identification of functional brown adipose tissue (BAT) in humans has promoted an interest in how BAT is activated in humans and its potential role in regulating energy balance and body weight. The investigators will measure BAT activity using PET/CT scans pre and post three months of estrogen suppression.


Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 40 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Body mass index < 30 kg/m2
  • Normal menstrual cycles
  • Premenopausal

Exclusion Criteria:

  • irregular menstrual cycles defined as 2 or more missed cycles in the previous year
  • on hormonal contraceptive or menopausal therapy
  • positive pregnancy test
  • intention to become pregnant or start hormonal contraceptive therapy during the period of study
  • lactation
  • severe osteopenia or osteoporosis (i.e., proximal femur or lumbar spine t scores < -2.0)
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • uncontrolled hypertension
  • exercising at least 30 minutes per day at a moderate to vigorous intensity >1 d/wk) over the past 6 months
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01846728

Contact: Edward Melanson, Ph.D. (303) 724-0935

United States, Colorado
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Recruiting
Aurora, Colorado, United States, 80045
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Colorado, Denver
Principal Investigator: Edward Melanson, PhD University of Colorado, Denver
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: University of Colorado, Denver Identifier: NCT01846728     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 13-0149, P50HD073063
Study First Received: April 30, 2013
Last Updated: May 3, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on November 27, 2014