Through research online, I came across this word that I had no idea what it meant, and I was seeing it more and more. Leptin. Leptin. Leptin. Can someone please tell me what leptin is?!
I’m a curious person. I like to know the reasons behind things. How do they work, why is that like that, what does it mean- these questions run through my mind and out my mouth constantly.
This post for today is the result of the research that I did on leptin. I am still trying to understand everything about it, so I will do my best to clearly and properly explain what I know about leptin.
First thing, leptin was just discovered in 1994. Scientists thought they found the answer to obesity with this discovery. Were they right? Yes and no.
To fully understand this answer, we need to know what leptin is.
Leptin is a hormone produced mainly in fat deposits. Interestingly enough, “lepto” in Greek means “thin,” which might prove the scientists were right. However, we need more information.
What does leptin do? We understand that it’s a hormone created by fat deposits, but what does that mean?
Hormones are responsible for sending chemical messages throughout your body. To make hormones means that fat deposits are actually an endocrine gland. I never knew that fat was a gland. It goes to show you really never know anything!
Because leptin is a hormone, it sends signals to the brain. These signals play a role in appetite regulation, food intake, and body weight, as said by Dr. Ananya Mandal.
That is why scientists thought leptin could aid with weight loss. Of course, things are never that easy.
Fat cells create leptin, which tells the brain, or hypothalamus, to either stop eating or to eat more. It does this based on body fat. If a person has more body fat, that means less food is needed. Leptin tells the brain to stop eating because there is enough body fat. If there isn’t enough, it tells your brain to keep eating.
When leptin tells your brain it has enough fat, it keeps metabolism high and appetite low. When leptin tells your brain there isn’t enough fat, it lowers metabolism and ignites the hunger growls to begin. Watch the video on the bottom of this page for more in-depth detail.
Individuals with higher body fat tend to have higher levels of leptin because leptin is telling the brain it has enough and to stop eating.
Proper reasoning tells that those with higher body fat should be able to stop eating because their leptin levels are saying to stop. That’s where leptin resistance comes in.
To make this as short as possible, leptin resistance means that the brain is not receiving the signal from the leptin that the body has had enough. This prompts people to keep eating and eating because their brain senses that they don’t have enough fat and need more to stay alive.
Going to the answer that leptin can control weight loss like scientists thought the answer is yes and no.
Yes, leptin can help for those who are overweight IF their body does not make leptin. Only a small percentage of people- 100 in the world– do not make leptin. So, no, leptin cannot help those who are leptin resistant.
And THAT is leptin! One thing I did not mention, simply due to space and because I need to read more on it, is in regards to leptin levels and dieting. I am going to read more into that, but for the mean time, check out this site.
On a completely unrelated note to leptin, on Friday I found out that I passed the CrossFit L-1! That means I’m able to train others! I’m SOOOOOO EXCITED! I’m hoping to get a training job at a gym. With what free time I think I’m going to do that, I’m not sure. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes.
But, be on the look out for some more CrossFit inspired workouts! I may or may not be posting one on Thursday!
Let’s get ENERGIZED!