In medical terms, Leptin hormone, commonly known as Leptin is a hormone that controls hunger. It also reduces fat storage. Body fat cells produce leptin and its main target is the brain’s hypothalamus. Leptin sends signals to your brain when you are full and do not need to eat anymore.
Although leptin hormone has chief function to manage fat storage, it also plays an important role in physiological processes. Leptin is also found in various places other than fat cells.
Decreased reactivity to leptin results in obesity and in inability to detect Hunger.
Leptin is also called fat hormone, obesity hormone or starvation hormone. Internet is full of websites that sell leptin based products and advertise them as solutions for obesity and weight problems.
Blood carries leptin to your brain cells. Leptin is a kind of messenger that tells your brain how much fat cells your body has. High levels of leptin show enough fat storage and hence makes you feel full.
This is the case with people who have a lot of fat storage in their body. Their body has excess leptin . Increase in levels of leptin reserves lead body to develop a resistance to the hormone. Which leads to increase of hunger.
The increased hunger in such cases makes a person eat more than required and hence increases the fat stores of the body.
Lower levels of leptin hormone
Low levels of leptin the body tricks the brain to think that body has little to no fat reserves which induces uncontrolled hunger. Due to this uncontrolled hunger problems related to obesity, excessive fat storage, and all other medical conditions caused due to high levels of fats arise.
Do leptin suppliments work
Apart from common misconception, most leptin supplements do not actually contain leptin hormone. Supplements contain a mixture of various nutrients marketed to reduce inflammation in the body.Some of the ingredients include alpha lipoic acids, fish oils, soluble fiber etc.
In a nutshell, there is not enough evidence to prove leptin induced weight loss, more research is in progress.
Can leptin hormone help in weight loss?
Leptin is a hormone that helps your brain think and know when to stop eating. But this does not mean that if there is an excess of leptin in body can help you lose weight. If there is an excess of leptin hormone, your body starts to ignore it. This can lead to very serious problems and excessive weight gain.
Cause of leptin resistance
There are several factors involved, I am listing a few of them below –
Inflammation– Inflammatory signalling is one of the main causes of leptin resistance.
Increased fatty acids– Increased levels of fatty acids may increase fat metabolism hence interfering in brain signalling.
High levels of leptin in the body is also one of the key factors in developing leptin resistance.
How to lower leptin resistance
Improving leptin resistance to leptin can prove a pillar in weight-loss. But studies do not show evidently that leptin helps lose weight.Here, is a list of few suggestions to improve your leptin resistance –
Increasing physical activity – Studies prove that taking part in physical activity improves leptin sensitivity.
Decrease in intake of sugar foods – Eating a sugar-free diet also improves leptin sensitivity of the body.
Eating fish – Fishes contain anti inflammatory chemicals, these help to reduce inflammation and thus improving leptin sensitivity.
High-Fibre Cereals – Study suggests that eating high fibre cereal like oat, can improve resistance, sensitivity and improve weight loss.
Getting a good night sleep – When you sleep your hormones are regulated, so it becomes a important to lower leptin resistance.
Reduce your blood triglyceride – High triglycerides inhibit the leptin transporter involved in carrying the signal to stop eating through the blood to the brain.
In a nutshell
According to CDC, more than 40% percent of adults including men and women are obese. This can be directly related with leptin hormone and leptin resistance. It is not caused due to psychological problems (i.e will power) as most of the people think it is, but an actual physical problem in the body.
There are various social, economical and cultural features involved too. Hence, one should look forward to a healthier lifestyle to improve and cut down the factors that result in development of leptin resistance in your body.