What is Leptin Resistance?

There is a lot that we don’t know yet about leptin resistance. What we do know is that it is related to obesity. It appears to be caused by obesity as well as to promote and sustain obesity once it has been established.

Leptin is produced by adipose tissue, especially white fat. The more white fat in the body, the higher the leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone, as is insulin. Like other hormones, when the levels are too high for too long, the receptors for these hormones become less sensitive to them, preventing these hormones from performing their normal function(s).

Leptin plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. When working properly leptin connects with receptors in your hypothalamus, providing the signal that you have had enough to eat. When it cannot connect effectively with those receptors, you remain hungry, regardless of food intake.

Researchers are diligently looking for the precise way in which leptin works so they can manufacture a drug to conquer obesity. So far, that has not worked with insulin resistance. A better solution is to be proactively pursuing the only way known to reverse both insulin resistance and leptin resistance – that would be lifestyle modification.

Just a couple of hints to get started:

  • Try not to use the “d” word (diet), because that implies something temporary.
  • Look for “Frankenfoods” you can replace with healthier choices, such as replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with other sweeteners. Ultimately, you will want to minimize the use of sweeteners altogether, however, you don’t have to start with perfection. Baby steps are okay!
  • Get your body moving. Whatever your level of activity, check with your doctor first, then start to safely increase your activity level.

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