Leptin also known as the satiety hormone originates from adipose cells and regulates energy balance inside the body by controlling hunger. Just like the hormone ghrelin, leptin plays a vital role in metabolism but with opposite actions. Both hormones regulate appetite by acting on arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus’s receptors. People with obesity, in general, have decreased sensitivity to leptin which will result in their inability to feel full.
Regulating fat stores is the main function of leptin, but apart from it, this hormone also plays an important role in various physiological processes. In addition, the metabolic efficiency in a human body is determined by how well the hormone leptin performs its functions. There are many diets that are designed to increase this hormone without any side effect. Balancing this hormone is absolutely vital to improving overall well-being for the long run as well as achieving healthy weight. What leptin does to make this happen is no more a mystery. It acts as a mediator between food intake and energy balance by suppressing excess intake and thus regulating body weight.
As a growing number of people suffer from obesity and its associated illnesses, such as heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, numbness in arms and legs, understanding how leptin works and how this hormone influences the body has been a subject of many studies. Doctors subject their patients who are obese to treatment programs where the circulating level of leptin is increased and the level of hunger hormone ghrelin is decreased. This hormone that is responsible for losing weight tells your brain that you have enough energy in your body in the form of fat and that you need to stop eating and engage in activities to burn them. In other words, leptin level is the threshold to determine whether you should eat more or not. For each person, this level may vary depending on the body structure, extent of obesity and genetic factors.
People who are overweight has increased level of leptin but unfortunately their brains don’t get the message about when to stop eating. This means obese people are already leptin-resistant and without dietary intervention, their leptin level will remain the same or even increase but remain ineffective. There are many drugs and supplements designed to be injected directly to the body but this fails to address the resistance making them ineffective.