Will taking leptin help me lose weight
Will taking leptin help me lose weight: Leptin is a hormone that plays an important role in weight regulation; the hormone is primarily produced by fat tissue. Moreover, leptin supplements have become quite popular in recent years because they make it easier for you to lose weight and decrease appetite. However, the effectiveness of leptin supplements for weight loss is controversial.
What is leptin?
Leptin hormone is produced by fat cells and during periods of starvation or shortage of food, the levels of leptin decrease. The hormone was first discovered in 1994 and since then, it has been studied for its function in obesity and weight regulation1. Leptin hormone curbs appetite by communicating with the brain that you have enough fat stores. In addition, it prevents excessive eating by signaling the body to burn calories normally. The brain senses starvation when the levels of leptin are low and as a result, your appetite increases. You burn calories at a slower rate and the brain signals you to eat more food2. This is one of the reasons why it referred to as the hunger or starvation hormone.
Does more leptin equal more weight loss?
If an ample amount of fat tissue and leptin are available, the leptin will signal the brain that your body has enough energy stores and that you should stop eating. However, in obesity, the process is not as simple. According to a study3, people who are obese have much higher levels of leptin compared to individuals who are of average weight. Although it may seem that higher levels of leptin are favorable for losing weight, this is not the case. Leptin resistance occurs when the brain stops acknowledging the signals of the hormone. Therefore, even if you have more than enough of energy stored and leptin available, the brain does not recognize it and thinks that you are still hungry and continue to eat. Leptin resistance does not only contribute to eating more, it also signals the brain that you need to save energy and burns calories at a slower rate4. More leptin is not what necessarily matters in terms of weight loss. What’s significant is how well the brain interprets its signal. For this reason, taking supplements that increase the levels of leptin in the blood does not necessarily lead to weight loss.
How does leptin resistance work?
Scientists have studies leptin resistance and believe that leptin resistance is the reason why obese people have a more difficult time losing weight and eating less. It is not exactly clear how leptin resistance works; however, studies have shown that levels of leptin are higher in people who are obese. In addition to this, despite the higher levels of leptin hormone, the satiety signals do not work the same way they work for people who are lean. The brain is not signaled to stop eating and start burning more calories, as it should be doing if the levels of leptin are high. The idea of leptin resistance is controversial since research is insufficient to explain exactly how the hormone interact with other factors. There are several other hunger and appetite hormones that play a role in how much you eat and what you eat. In addition, there are other things that also affect your intake of food, for example, habits, flavors of food, food smells, reward systems and even cultural traditions. Therefore, it cannot be said for sure that leptin resistance causes obesity.
Do leptin supplements work?
While there are numerous supplements labelled as “leptin pills”, most leptin supplements do not actually contain leptin hormone. Most contain a mix of various nutrients that are marketed to increase leptin sensitivity by reducing inflammation4. The feature ingredients include fish oil, alpha-lipoic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, soluble fiber and green tea extract. There are a number of different studies that involve weight loss supplements; however, the effect of these supplements focuses on improving leptin resistance, however, its effect on appetite remains unclear. There are some researches that also look into African mango or Irvingia gabogenesis and its proposed effect on weight loss and leptin sensitivity. It has further been shown that decreasing leptin levels is favorable for improving leptin sensitivity. some studies have also shown that African mango modestly reduces waist circumference and weight. However, research is limited to only a few studies and there is a need for further research to conclude whether the supplements influence leptin resistance. The fat cells generate leptin hormone and signal the brain that the body is full and that you should stop eating. Although, despite it, people who are obese often develop leptin resistance. the levels of leptin are elevated, but the brain cannot recognize the signal of the hormone to stop eating.
Most leptin supplements do not contain the hormone and are a mix of nutrients that help improve leptin sensitivity. In addition to this, there is a lack of research that proves the effectiveness of leptin supplements for weight loss. Making positive changes to your lifestyle and diet are much more effective for promoting weight loss and improving leptin sensitivity.
If you are trying to lose weight, then you certainly must have come across ads for leptin supplements in magazines or online. The ads claim to boost your levels of leptin, as well as, fix your leptin resistance. However, these supplements do not contain the hormone leptin. Most of the pills contain ingredients such as, fiber or green tea that may help you burn more calories and feel full. So, should you try leptin supplements to lose weight? Since researchers do not quite understand leptin resistance and leptin, it is unlikely that the supplement manufacturers have it figured out. If you suspect that you suffer from leptin resistance and your levels of leptin are low, it is best that you speak with your doctor about hormonal tests and other treatments to help you lose weight.
Will taking leptin help me lose weight
The leptin diet
Another popular trend for losing weight is the leptin diet6. Different types of foods have been investigated by scientists that might help control leptin and lose weight. For example, according to a study, a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat increased leptin levels compared to a low carbohydrate and high fat diet. Although, there is no evidence that a specific diet can help cure leptin resistance or make the right amount of leptin. According to experts, small daily food and habit changes can help boost leptin in the body. The changes include:
- Choosing foods low in sugar – some studies have found a link between levels of leptin and insulin. You may be able to improve the levels of leptin in your body by controlling insulin and blood sugar. Therefore, choose foods that contain less added sugar and are minimally processed.
- Decrease intake of saturated fats – studies have shown that high levels of triglyceride might interfere with the healthy transport of leptin. For this reason, it is suggested that you eat less saturated fats and decrease the levels of triglyceride.
- Eat fiber rich foods – studies have shown that fiber has an impact on the levels of leptin, however, foods rich in fiber have a similar effect. When you eat fiber rich foods, you feel full faster, eat less and stay satisfied for longer.
- Sleep well – according to studies, sleeping well at night can help boost leptin levels. Therefore, make changes to your daily routine and rest well at night.
However, there is no guarantee that a “leptin diet” will change or fix leptin levels, moreover, even if it does, you may not even know about it. The levels of leptin can only be measured in a lab with a blood test. although, these healthy changes in the diet cost nothing, there are no significant side effects and they also help with weight loss. Until there is enough research about the relationship between leptin and weight loss, a healthy change in the diet is the best way to boost the body’s potential to lose weight.
How to make the fat-burning hormone work for you?
It is a well-known fact that exercise burns calories. In addition to this, exercising regularly stimulates the activity of fat burning enzymes. Similarly, the hormone leptin also stimulates these enzymes that increase metabolic rate even when you are not exercising. This is an important factor because for most people, the resting metabolic rate account for two-thirds of the total number of calories that are burnt each day. There are a few steps that can be used to increase metabolism and the fat-burning process.
Choose foods that give you most flavor and nutritional value
It is important to incorporate foods with flavor and nutritional value for the calories you consume in your diet. The foods are rich in dietary elements that will help your metabolism, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins. Nutritious rich foods, such as, fresh herbs, onions, ginger, tomatoes and blueberries have appetite satisfying flavors, moreover, will add to your daily nutritional value.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy functioning of the brain and body. It helps heal inflammation, moreover, promotes a wide range of cellular activities. Additionally, it has also shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other disorders. Foods rich in omega-3s include, soy, kidney, beans, walnuts and ground flax seeds. Animal sources of omega-3s include fish, especially, tuna and salmon.
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
It is recommended that you eat up to 9 or 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. You can incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Fruits and vegetables with dark colors, such as, pomegranates, cherries and blueberries and intense flavors reflect their high content of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, for example, flavonoids and carotenoids.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Using artificial sweeteners and flavors deprives you of potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that are found in naturally sweet fruits, spices and herbs. Studies have also shown that artificial sweeteners interfere with weight loss, therefore, steer clear of sugar substitutes and instead incorporate fruits in your diet for their flavor and nutrition.
Opt for healthier snacks
Snacks satisfy hunger; however, it is important that you indulge in only healthy choices. Opt for healthy snacks, for example, dessert treats made out of fruit and yoghurt, almonds and crunchy walnuts. These will excite your palate while keeping your hunger satiated.
Will taking leptin help me lose weight: The important role leptin hormone plays other than maintaining health and helping with weight loss, is still being discovered.
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- Kelesidis T, Kelesidis I, Chou S, Mantzoros CS. Narrative review: the role of leptin in human physiology: emerging clinical applications. Annals of internal medicine. 2010 Jan 19;152(2):93-100.
- Considine RV, Sinha MK, Heiman ML, Kriauciunas A, Stephens TW, Nyce MR, Ohannesian JP, Marco CC, McKee LJ, Bauer TL, Caro JF. Serum immunoreactive-leptin concentrations in normal-weight and obese humans. New England Journal of Medicine. 1996 Feb 1;334(5):292-5.
- Myers MG, Cowley MA, Münzberg H. Mechanisms of leptin action and leptin resistance. Annu. Rev. Physiol.. 2008 Mar 17;70:537-56.
- Sáinz N, González-Navarro CJ, Martínez JA, Moreno-Aliaga MJ. Leptin signaling as a therapeutic target of obesity. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets. 2015 Jul 3;19(7):893-909.
- com. Before Keto, the Leptin Diet Was Huge.By Cory Stieg. May 10, 2019. New York, New York: Refinery 29 Vice Media 2020 https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/what-is-leptin-diet-foods