Ageing and sex steroids influence energy expenditure in women

Seeking post-menopausal women that are either not receiving hormone therapy
or are receiving estrogen only therapy

Why do women gain weight at menopause?

This might be all explained by the colour of fat.

Did you know we have both brown fat and white fat?

Within the body there are different types of fat tissue, including white and brown fat. White fat stores energy and expands when people gain weight. Brown fat, however, uses energy by producing heat.

Does brown fat function decline with age in women?

Dr Belinda Henry at Monash University is undertaking a study with the support of the Women’s Health Research Program to determine:

  • if brown fat activity is reduced after menopause
  • if brown fat activity is maintained/restored in postmenopausal women taking estrogen.

We are seeking volunteers (aged 45–60 years) who are willing to have a blood sample taken and a body "heat map" performed (a bit like a temperature photograph, not an X Ray).

Participants need to be non-smokers, healthy without diagnosed diabetes, have normal blood pressure and not currently taking any blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure altering drugs.

This is an important study that might help us work out why women gain weight at midlife.

All participants are required to provide written informed consent. The study will involve a single visit to the laboratory at Monash Clayton (Melbourne) where all measurements will take place. This includes measurement of body heat production by a body heat map, measurement of body composition (body fat and muscle mass), resting energy use and blood samples will be collected. This will take approximately 3–3.5 hours. When you leave, you will be asked to wear 3 small temperature monitors for 3 days. During this time, we will ask you to complete a food diary to record your meals and exercise routines. You will be given a prepaid envelope to return these to Dr Henry.

Participants will receive a $150 gift card for reimbursement. Parking on site will be provided.

The study has been approved by the Monash University Human Research and Ethics Committee.


If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr Henry: