Caloric balance, brain to body ratio, and the timing of menarche

Jorg Winterer, Gordon B. Cutler, Donald (Lynn) Loriaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Caloric availability regulates female reproductive function. Menses do not normally occur until the amount of stored fat is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. Unusual energy drains such as heavy exercise cause a reversible cessation of menses. The brain appears to monitor the balance between the availability of calories and their utilization, and reproduction is suppressed when the balance is unfavorable. We postulate that the juvenile human brain, with its unique metabolic requirements, constitutes an important energy drain in the premenarchal girl, and that caloric utilization by the brain may explain the delay of reproductive competence in man. It follows that the changing energy requirements of the brain relative to the body during normal premenarchal growth may play a key role in the timing of menarche. Pathological examples of altered brain to body ratios support this hypothesis: an increase of the brain to body ratio has been observed to delay menarche, a decrease of the brain to body ratio to advance menarche. We explore several clinical implications of this hypothesis and present suggestions for its experimental evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Menarche
Brain
Menstruation
Nutritional Requirements
Mental Competency
Reproduction
Fats
Exercise
Pregnancy
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery

Cite this

Caloric balance, brain to body ratio, and the timing of menarche. / Winterer, Jorg; Cutler, Gordon B.; Loriaux, Donald (Lynn).

In: Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1984, p. 87-91.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Winterer, Jorg ; Cutler, Gordon B. ; Loriaux, Donald (Lynn). / Caloric balance, brain to body ratio, and the timing of menarche. In: Medical Hypotheses. 1984 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 87-91.
@article{c80f61ae02364a36bcccd4776eb9f892,
title = "Caloric balance, brain to body ratio, and the timing of menarche",
abstract = "Caloric availability regulates female reproductive function. Menses do not normally occur until the amount of stored fat is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. Unusual energy drains such as heavy exercise cause a reversible cessation of menses. The brain appears to monitor the balance between the availability of calories and their utilization, and reproduction is suppressed when the balance is unfavorable. We postulate that the juvenile human brain, with its unique metabolic requirements, constitutes an important energy drain in the premenarchal girl, and that caloric utilization by the brain may explain the delay of reproductive competence in man. It follows that the changing energy requirements of the brain relative to the body during normal premenarchal growth may play a key role in the timing of menarche. Pathological examples of altered brain to body ratios support this hypothesis: an increase of the brain to body ratio has been observed to delay menarche, a decrease of the brain to body ratio to advance menarche. We explore several clinical implications of this hypothesis and present suggestions for its experimental evaluation.",
author = "Jorg Winterer and Cutler, {Gordon B.} and Loriaux, {Donald (Lynn)}",
year = "1984",
doi = "10.1016/0306-9877(84)90011-2",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "87--91",
journal = "Medical Hypotheses",
issn = "0306-9877",
publisher = "Churchill Livingstone",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Caloric balance, brain to body ratio, and the timing of menarche

AU - Winterer, Jorg

AU - Cutler, Gordon B.

AU - Loriaux, Donald (Lynn)

PY - 1984

Y1 - 1984

N2 - Caloric availability regulates female reproductive function. Menses do not normally occur until the amount of stored fat is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. Unusual energy drains such as heavy exercise cause a reversible cessation of menses. The brain appears to monitor the balance between the availability of calories and their utilization, and reproduction is suppressed when the balance is unfavorable. We postulate that the juvenile human brain, with its unique metabolic requirements, constitutes an important energy drain in the premenarchal girl, and that caloric utilization by the brain may explain the delay of reproductive competence in man. It follows that the changing energy requirements of the brain relative to the body during normal premenarchal growth may play a key role in the timing of menarche. Pathological examples of altered brain to body ratios support this hypothesis: an increase of the brain to body ratio has been observed to delay menarche, a decrease of the brain to body ratio to advance menarche. We explore several clinical implications of this hypothesis and present suggestions for its experimental evaluation.

AB - Caloric availability regulates female reproductive function. Menses do not normally occur until the amount of stored fat is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. Unusual energy drains such as heavy exercise cause a reversible cessation of menses. The brain appears to monitor the balance between the availability of calories and their utilization, and reproduction is suppressed when the balance is unfavorable. We postulate that the juvenile human brain, with its unique metabolic requirements, constitutes an important energy drain in the premenarchal girl, and that caloric utilization by the brain may explain the delay of reproductive competence in man. It follows that the changing energy requirements of the brain relative to the body during normal premenarchal growth may play a key role in the timing of menarche. Pathological examples of altered brain to body ratios support this hypothesis: an increase of the brain to body ratio has been observed to delay menarche, a decrease of the brain to body ratio to advance menarche. We explore several clinical implications of this hypothesis and present suggestions for its experimental evaluation.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0021683029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0021683029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0306-9877(84)90011-2

DO - 10.1016/0306-9877(84)90011-2

M3 - Article

C2 - 6493093

AN - SCOPUS:0021683029

VL - 15

SP - 87

EP - 91

JO - Medical Hypotheses

JF - Medical Hypotheses

SN - 0306-9877

IS - 1

ER -