a. WHAT IS LEPTIN?
Leptin is a protein hormone released by fat cells in adipose tissue. Leptin is responsible to send signal to the region of the brain called hypothalamus, to regulate and alter long term food intake and energy expenditure.
The primary purpose of the leptin is to help the body maintain its weight. Since leptin is formed from fat, the amount of leptin present is directly proportional to the amount of fat.
If an individual has more body fat, leptin levels will be more, if an individual has less fat, the levels of leptin will decrease.
Leptin is also called satiety hormone. It inhibits hunger and regulate energy balance, therefore the body does not initiate hunger response when it does not need energy.
When an individual loses weight, the levels of the hormone also fall, this triggers the increase in appetite making the weight loss more difficult.
b. WHAT IS LEPTIN RESISTANCE?
When a body is functioning normally, excess body fat will produce leptin in proportion to their size giving signals to the hypothalamus to reduce the appetite, allowing the body to use its fat stores as a source of energy.
When a person is obese, he or she will have too much leptin in their blood. Excess of leptin can cause lack of sensitivity to the hormone. When the brain doesn’t receive the signal, it thinks the body is in starvation mode though it has more than enough energy stored.
In this case, brain changes its behavior and encourages eating more to prevent starvation and reduce the energy expenditure to conserve the energy.
c. HOW TO REVERSE LEPTIN RESISTANCE?
- Avoid processed food: Processed & packaged food contains artificial salts and sugars which tend to compromise the integrity of gut and drive inflammation which leads to resistance of hormones.
- Eat soluble fibre: Soluble fiber slows down gastric emptying and preventing excess calorie intake resulting in better metabolic control.
- Exercise & sleep: Proper sleep raises leptin levels which signal the brain that the body has enough energy therefore preventing calorie intake and energy expenditure. Exercise can act as a tool to restore leptin sensitivity by increasing insulin sensitivity and directly lowering leptin levels.
- Reduce Triglyceride levels: Increased levels of triglyceride inhibits leptin hormone to signal the brain about enough energy storage. Therefore leading an individual to eat extra calories.
- Eat protein: Including protein rich food in the diet helps in losing weight which indirectly to improving leptin sensitivity