Blog post 2 of 30.
To understand why Leptin is important you need to know what it is.
“Leptin (from Greek λεπτός leptos, “thin”), the “satiety hormone,”a is a hormone made by adipose cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. Leptin is opposed by the actions of the hormone ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”. Both hormones act on receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus to regulate appetite in order to achieve energy homeostasis. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores.
Although regulation of fat stores is deemed to be the primary function of leptin, it also plays a role in other physiological processes, as evidenced by its multiple sites of synthesis other than fat cells, and the multiple cell types beside hypothalamic cells that have leptin receptors. Many of these additional functions are yet to be defined.” (wikipedia)
When should you be concerned with leptin levels? The biggest reason people start to look at leptin levels is when they just can’t seem to be satisfied no matter how much or what they eat. When nonstop eating goes on for too long we know that weight will start to be affected in a negative way. Many people think weight is all about calories in, calories out (see this two part series about calories for more information). This is a huge misconception and the wrong place to explore when trying to lose weight. Losing weight has to do with hormonal balance, quality of food, nutrient absorption, how well we detox and methylate, how much sleep we get and how much we move. Stress is a huge factor in all of these things but let’s stay focused on where leptin comes into play and what to do about it. “Leptin basically is in charge of regulation of calories to eat, how much fat we burn and how much fat we carry on our body (authoritynutrition.com).”
If you have development a resistance to leptin signals you may not be getting the healthy message your body needs to maintain a normal optimal weight.
What causes Leptin issues? Too much exercise in a hormonally imbalanced body, lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition, stress, eating too much, eating too many boxed and refined foods etc.
“The good news is: if you’ve failed at diets or health changes in the past, it was likely because you failed to regulate your Leptin levels and doing so can help you finally make lasting changes. Leptin resistance and its related problems are a complex problem involving the endocrine system and reversing them requires more than simple calorie restriction or will power.” In order to fix Leptin issues you have to change your diet. There is no way around it. Starting the day with nutrient rich foods like vegetables, protein and fat can be the first step. For more information on testing for Leptin issues click here and for information on how to fix these issues click here.
In good health,