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Can’t Lose Weight? Check your Leptin

Posted Jun 23 2010 5:00am


Hormones, like enzymes, are something that allows essential biochemical reactions that regulates our body functions.  And while we can’t consciously control them, our lifestyle greatly affects how they works.

Leptin is a hormone that monitors fat metabolism.  It’s role is to maintain the calorie balance by evaluating how much energy we need to survive. But more importantly, leptin is also the hormone that controls hunger.

  1. By counteracting the effects of feeding stimulants
  2. By promoting the substances responsible for appetite suppression

Leptin is secreted by fat cells and is received by the hypothalamus.  A lack of it leads to constant hunger. The fatter you are, the most leptin you should have circulating in your blood.

The immediate effect of leptin is to tell your body that you have eaten enough.  In the long run, it signals the body that it has adequate fat storage (energy) to survive.  Both result in a loss of appetite.  The problem comes when there’s a problem with the leptin function within the body.  Or the body doesn’t create enough of it, or the hypothalamus can’t effectively receive it.  In either case, we’re still hungry, even when our body shouldn’t.  This is called leptin resistance.

  • High fructose diet: eating fructose rich food, like foods containing high fructose corn syrup, can hinder the hypothalamus ability to recognize leptin signals.  Fructose found in normal amounts of fruits shouldn’t lead to leptin resistance.
  • High triglycerides: A common ageing disease that you should avoid anyway for other health reasons.
  • Lecithins
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Fasting and caloric restriction

Again, it seems that having a natural lifestyle consisting in a mostly organic, whole and unprocessed food based diet is a key to health and energy.

Do you think you could be leptin resistant? Is it the first time your hear about leptin? Do you think it can be a link to the western obesity problem?

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