Puberty, fertility and nutrition

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A team of researchers at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center have linked the onset of puberty. Late puberty is associated with malnutrition while early puberty is linked to childhood obesity.

This runs counter to current theories about the molecular pathway which enables nutrition status to affect the onset of puberty. The team defined a new pathway for the process and validation of this theory in humans could lead to new approaches for treating puberty disorders and fertility.

The hormone leptin is key in letting the body know that nutrition levels are optimal for reproductive organs to function and puberty to start. Researchers had believed that leptin basically instructed the hypothalamus to start producing kisspeptins, small proteins that kick start puberty. But the research from Carol Elias at Southwestern did not prove this theory.

Furthermore they discovered another pathway which leptin uses in a different area of the brain vital for the onset of puberty. This new information provides important new insight into the regulation of puberty onset which could be the basis for new treatments for infertility.

Source: Medical News Today


 
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