Leptin resistance is a topic that has been gaining quite a spotlight in the news after seemingly having come out of nowhere. That said, when the articles about this topic help people to feel better about struggling with their weight loss, it’s not difficult to see why people have started paying attention.
A growing number of scientists are now saying that leptin resistance can help people feel less guilty about their challenges with calories and willpower. Leptin is a hormone and as modern obesity research continues, it is becoming ever clearer that it is playing a meaningful role in a person’s likelihood to gain weight, ease or struggle to lose weight, and other similar challenges.
What is Leptin?
According to a growing body of research and medical science, leptin or, more specifically, leptin resistance, is a leading cause of fat gain within the human body.
This is because leptin is a hormone that is produced by the fat cells of the body, themselves. It has a number of nicknames, such as the “starvation hormone” or the “satiety hormone.” Even by its nicknames, it becomes easier to imagine why it is now being blamed for struggles with weight gain.
The main area in which leptin communicates its message is in the hypothalamus part of the brain. Its message is that, when the body has stored enough fat, no more calories are needed so hunger is not experienced in order to encourage more eating. There are also a number of brain functions, immunity and fertility, but it is the sense of hunger and of satisfaction with a meal that is important in this context.
As the decider as to whether or not the body has enough fat, leptin’s main purpose is to regulate long-term energy in the body. This includes the number of calories you burn as well as those you eat in your food. It also has to do with the amount of fat that is stored on the body itself. In essence, when everything is going as it should, it leptin should stop people from under-eating or overeating by sending the right hunger signals.
What is Leptin Resistance?
As you gain weight, your body has larger fat cells. The cells simply hold more fat. As a result, those cells produce a larger amount of leptin to reflect the size of the larger fat cells. This is when leptin resistance becomes dangerous. Despite the fact that more than enough energy is stored, the brain doesn’t register the signal that the body is sending.
Leptin resistance is now considered to be the leading biological obesity contributor.