Historically, people with menstrual cycles have been excluded from scientific studies due to concerns about how hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle may affect research findings. This exclusion and underrepresentation in the health literature have significant implications as research suggests that there are important sex differences in health and wellness, including response to exercise. When our muscle cells are exposed to exercise, it causes micro tears which stimulates muscle cells to repair and regenerate. One important player in the process of muscle cell regeneration are satellite cells which are muscle stem cells. While research has shown that there are sex differences in the post-exercise satellite cell response, the underlying mechanisms that may be causing these differences remain unknown. Mai Wageh, a 3rd year PhD Candidate in the Department of Kinesiology, explains how hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, may contribute to these observed differences. Tune in to learn more about satellite cells and the important implications that Mai’s research has!
P.S. if you’re interested in learning more about how women have largely been understudied in scientific research, you can check out Angela Saini’s book, Inferior