Leptin is a human peptide hormone that is produced by white and brown adipose fat cells, but also the ovaries, bone marrow, pituitary, liver and skeletal muscle. Its main function is to help regulate weight by stimulating the hypothalamus to suppress the appetite and simultaneously burn the adipose fat stores.
Do You Have Leptin Deficiency?
Leptin deficiency is possible though rare. It is a congenital defect that causes very severe, early-onset obesity. It is treatable, though it is so uncommon that it is unlikely you may be suffering from this disorder. To date, only two families in Britain (originally of Pakistani decent) and one family in Turkey have been diagnosed with leptin deficiency.
Is Leptin an Effective Treatment for Obesity?
Since its discovery almost a decade ago, leptin has offered fluctuating hope for the treatment of obesity. Initially, medical experts had great expectations for the hormone. In 1995, researchers reported that leptin had resulted in mice eating less and losing weight. At that time there were high hopes that leptin would be a new and effective treatment for obesity. However, this hope was soon squashed with the realization that those suffering form obesity have leptin resistance in the brain, which would make them completely unresponsive to leptin treatment. More recent research on leptin and obese mice has inspired hope once again. Researchers have now discovered that increased stress in another area of the brain is responsible for leptin resistance in the obese. This means it is possible to re-sensitize the brain to leptin.
Leptin Regulation and Suspension
During and after a meal, leptin travels through the blood stream and tells the brain how full we area and about the quantity of fat stored in our body. Certain food items such as sugars and carbohydrates contain higher levels of leptin than our bodies are prepared for, and this can result in the brain's leptin receptors being bombarded with leptin. When this occurs, the brain’s process for regulating leptin completely closes down and you start gaining weight.
The Leptin Diet
This problem can be fixed by regulating your diet and eating healthier foods. This means cutting down on carbohydrates and sugars so that your leptin messaging process will start working again and you will be burning fat once more. Byron J. Richards, a leading expert in natural health and supplements, published his book, "Mastering Leptin," in 2002. The book explains how important leptin is and exactly what is does. Richards emphasizes that leptin's function is essential not only for maintaining a balanced weight, but also to combat the effects of anti-aging.