Obesity is a matter of great concern all over the world. People are gaining a lot of unhealthy weight due to excess body fat. Obesity is not just about being overweight, it is more about having too much body fat. In the past several decades, people’s lifestyle has changed a lot and with the increase in weight and body fat, the risk of other diseases has increased as well.
What Is The Role Of Leptin In The Pathogenesis Of Obesity?
With vast changes in lifestyle choices that have greatly contributed to the rise in cases of obesity, studies related to genetics and hormones have also made some great strides where regulating body fat and obesity is concerned. In 1994, Jeffrey M. Friedman and his associates studied molecular mechanisms that control food consumption and body weight. During this study, they discovered Leptin.
What is Leptin?
What is leptin? Leptin is also recognized as ‘starvation hormone.’ When it was discovered, scientists were excited about its potential as an effective weight loss treatment. Leptin is a type of protein that is produced in fat cells. It flows through the blood circulation and reaches the brain. It can be said that fat cells use Leptin to tell your brain that your energy thermostat is balanced.
Leptin conveys to your brain that your fat cells have enough energy so that you can engage in normal activities. Each person’s body has a certain pre-set level of leptin in his or her body. If your leptin levels are higher than that, it means your body has sufficient energy in fat cells that you can burn at a normal rate. At this level, you can do normal activities such as eating food in normal quantity, do exercise at a normal rate, and also engage in processes such as pregnancy.
On the other hand, when people start eating less, their fat cells begin to lose fat. It means they will produce less Leptin, and your leptin levels will go below the preset levels. In this situation, your brain will sense starvation in your body. This state of starvation will lead to the activation of other processes to increase your leptin levels. In one of the processes, your body will stimulate the vagus nerve, which can be found between the brain and the stomach. It will make you feel hungrier. It happens to increase the energy stored in your fat cells, which will then generate more leptin. Your body will want you to eat more and bring the leptin level back to what it should be. Leptin Resistance is when your body doesn’t respond to leptin hormone level changes or your brain doesn’t process the signals from leptin hormone.
Leptin and Body Weight
People with excess weight have large amounts of leptin, but their brains are not getting the signal to not eat more. This occurs due to leptin resistance. When people start to get fatter, leptin levels begin to go higher and higher. There is no upper limit to it.
When leptin resistance occurs, it means your brain is not getting the signal to stop eating. So it can be said that, while your body is gaining weight and fat, your brain is still hungry. And this is how leptin affects obesity.
Can leptin help with obesity treatment?
Some researchers have found that leptin plays an important role in controlling hunger, metabolism, and weight loss. It is a natural weight management and control mechanism in the human body.
As have been mentioned earlier, Leptin tells your brain to know the amount of fat stored in your body. When the leptin levels rise in your body, you will be able to feel a decline in your appetite. Similarly, when leptin levels come down, your appetite upsurges.
With the rise in leptin levels, your metabolic rate also increases. Likewise, fall in your leptin levels to decrease your metabolic rate. That means your body will burn less fat. But when leptin resistance occurs, everything goes haywire. That means it can be very difficult to control your hunger and an increase in fat and weight. There are various reasons in the modern lifestyle that lead to leptin resistance, such as fast food, almost no exercise, lack of sleep, stress, etc. To know more, read our article Resurge review.
It can be said that the weight problem is not just about a lack of a disciplined lifestyle, but also a hormonal imbalance. Many people still believe that if you want to lose weight, you need strong willpower to eat less and exercise more. Nevertheless, recent studies indicate that the problem of obesity is a lot more complex and is affected by various other factors than simply eating more and working less.