Obesity and weight-related issues are something which more or less everyone is suffering from these days. What exactly happens is that, when leptin levels are low in your body, your brain decodes it as starvation and it signals you to take in more food.
Effect Of Leptin Hormone On Weight Loss
Since people are a lot more aware nowadays than before, it may not be surprising for you to know that hormones play a rather important role in maintaining your overall health. Leptin is one such hormone that is directly connected to body fat and obesity.
What is Leptin?
Leptin hormone signals to the brain, in particular to an area known as the hypothalamus. In the case of starvation or during the food shortage periods, the leptin levels in your body decrease.
Also, the leptin effect is more profound when we lose weight and its level in the body goes further down. This fall, in turn, stimulates a huge appetite and increases food intake. Hence, your appetite increases but you burn calories at a comparatively slower rate. This is also the reason why it also referred to as the starvation or hunger hormone. In short, one can also say that the leptin hormone helps us to maintain a normal weight. However, in the case of dieters, unfortunately, it makes it harder for them to lose those extra stubborn pounds.
How is the leptin level in your body controlled?
We already told you that leptin is produced by the fat cells in adipose tissues and hence, it is not surprising that the amount of leptin produced is directly related to your body fat. If explained in simpler terms, you can say that the more fat an individual has, the more will be the leptin hormone circulating in their blood. So, with the help of their body fat, an individual can control the leptin levels in their body. For instance, if an individual increases the fat mass of their body over some time, the leptin levels in their blood will also increase. Similarly, for decreasing the leptin levels in the blood, an individual has to decrease the fat mass of their body over a time duration.
Obesity and Leptin Levels
- You would be a bit surprised to know that in most of the scenarios, obese people have unusually high levels of leptin in their blood. The reason behind this is that in most of the obese people, their brain does not respond to leptin hormone properly. Hence, as a result, they keep on eating even though they have adequate or even excessive fat stores in their body. All of this further causes the fat cells to produce even more leptin hormone.
- This is a medical condition which is known as ‘leptin resistance’.
- Though the cause of leptin resistance is still unclear, one can also understand this concept of leptin resistance as quite similar to the case of type II diabetes in which people have unusually high insulin levels as their body does not respond efficiently to insulin.
What will happen if the leptin levels fall too much?
- Congenital leptin deficiency – Having too little leptin levels in your blood is also not a good thing as it leads you to have congenital leptin deficiency. It is a genetic condition in which your body is unable to produce leptin hormone. This is an extremely rare condition.
- Uncontrolled Appetite – When your blood has absence or extremely low levels of leptin, then it makes your body think that it does not have any fat storage left. This thinking ultimately leads you to have uncontrolled food intake, which further results in severe childhood obesity.
- Other Health Problems – In addition to that, leptin deficiency can also cause other problems like delayed puberty, poor functioning of the immune system and so on.
However, the good news is that this condition can be treated with the help of leptin injections, which will cause dramatic weight loss.
We hope that this article helped you in understanding the effect of leptin hormone on weight loss a bit better.