There are lots of ways that men and women are different from each other, and one of these is reactions to the drugs they take.

For instance, men metabolize sleeping pills faster than women do, meaning that they knock women out more quickly and completely. The FDA is recommending different types of sleeping pills for each sex.

In the January 29th edition of the New York Times, Roni Caryn Rabin quotes NIH researcher Janine Clayton as saying, "This is not just about Ambien–that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of sex differences for a lot of drugs, some of which are well known and some that are not well recognized."

This sex difference is just now being discovered because until 1993, women of childbearing age were routinely excluded from trials of new drugs. For instance, the Government Accountability Office has found that 8 of 10 drugs removed from the market from 1997 through 2000 posed greater health risks for women.

Women metabolize drugs differently because they have a higher percentage of body fat and experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their monthly menstrual cycle. Rabin quotes pharmacy researcher Wesley Lindsey as saying, "Some drugs are more water-based and like to hang out in the blood, and some like to hang out in the fat tissue. If the drug is lipophilic (attracted to fat cells), it will move into those tissues and hang around for longer. The body won’t clear it as quickly, and you’ll see effects longer."

Whether you’re male or female, if YOUR percentage of body fat has gotten too high (a hangover from the holdiays?), start the new year out right with Anne Strieber’s famous diet book "What I Learned From the Fat Years"–it WORKS!

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