Sex differences in metabolic homeostasis, diabetes, and obesity

Biol Sex Differ. 2015 Sep 3;6:14. doi: 10.1186/s13293-015-0033-y. eCollection 2015.


There are fundamental aspects of the control of metabolic homeostasis that are regulated differently in males and females. This sex asymmetry represents an evolutionary paradigm for females to resist the loss of energy stores. This perspective discusses the most fundamental sex differences in metabolic homeostasis, diabetes, and obesity. Together, the role of genetic sex, the programming effect of testosterone in the prenatal period in males, and the activational role of sex hormones at puberty produce two different biological systems in males and females that need to be studied separately. These sex-specific differences in energy homeostasis and metabolic dysfunction represent an untested source of factors that can be harnessed to develop relevant sex-based therapeutic avenues for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

Publication types

  • Review