Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky
Gender differences in substrate utilization have been observed with females having higher lipid and less carbohydrate oxidation during endurance exercise. This thesis consists of a series of three studies conducted with the overall objective of advancing our understanding of gender differences in substrate metabolism and the mechanism behind these differences. The first and second studies investigated the effect of endurance training on whole-body substrate, glucose and glycerol utilization muscle enzyme adaptations in males and females. Carbohydrate utilization was lower following endurance training when tested at the same absolute exercise intensity. Glucose rate of appearance (Ra) and metabolic clearance rate (MCR) were lower following training. Females had a lower glucose MCR later in exercise as compared to males. Regardless of training status, females had a higher glycerol Ra as compared to males suggesting a greater whole-body lipolysis. Gender differences in lipid utilization were not accompanied by gender differences in maximal enzyme activities, which increased following endurance training for both genders. The third study investigated the effect of 17-β-estradiol on whole-body substrate, glucose and glycerol utilization during endurance exercise in males. The administration of 17-β-estradiol resulted in a lower MCR during exercise as compared to placebo. 17-β-estradiol also resulted in a higher plasma glucose concentration during exercise, but had no effect on substrate oxidation, glycerol turnover or plasma glycerol and FFA concentrations at rest or during endurance exercise. It can be concluded that females have a higher whole-body lipolysis and oxidize a greater proportion of fat. The glucose kinetic data from the training study together with the data from the 17-β-estradiol study suggested that females used less hepatic glucose during endurance exercise. Although alterations in glucose kinetics were found following the administration of 17-β-estradiol to males further research is required to unravel the mechanism(s) behind the gender difference in substrate metabolism.
Carter, Sherry Lee, "Effect of 17-beta-estradiol and gender on substrate metabolism in humans during exercise" (2000). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2487.