Leptin is one of the six major fat burning hormones, the others being thyroxin, adrenalin, human growth hormone (HGH), Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), and testosterone. Fat burning hormones are responsible for weight loss in animals and human beings.
The food you eat is first digested in the stomach and broken down into sugars, proteins, vitamins, and minerals which are then passed into the liver. The liver holds these nutrients awaiting instructions from the brain. The fat burning hormone (leptin) will direct the brain to issue energy storage or energy expenditure command to the concerned organs.
Depending on the energy demand level of the body cells, some sugars are sent to the cells for immediate utilization while the rest is converted to fat and stored. Typical fat storage sites include intestines, heart, liver, kidney, chest, and abdomen. Adopting a lifestyle that creates a balance between energy demand and conversion is the key to a trim and lean body.
Energy is stored in the human body in the form of fat. To “burn fat” is to convert stored energy in the body from fat to a more usable type and this is where the leptin hormone comes in.
Leptin is the chemical sensor the brain uses to determine whether there is sufficient energy within the cells. Each individual body has its own Leptin threshold, under normal health conditions.
Since Leptin is produced by the fat-based adipose tissues, an overweight condition is supposed to produce more Leptin, telling the brain to demand less food because there is more than enough stored in the cells. In that case, the leptin regulates the weight gain.
In cases of anorexia, there is underproduction of Leptin because the body cells are too emaciated. The brain, on sensing less Leptin “signals”, commands the body to “feel” hungry and demand food.
The word Leptin is of Greek origin, meaning “thin” or “slender” or “lean.” A protein-based hormone, Leptin acts on the appetite and hunger stimuli receptors in the brain. This fat-burning hormone determines what type of energy intake and energy expenditure command goes from the brain to the relevant body organs. Through that mechanism, Leptin is able to influence the amount of fat stored or “burnt.”
People suffering from chronic obesity tend to develop leptin resistance while those suffering from anorexia nervosa will experience a deficiency of Leptin. Any condition or ingredient that alters production of leptin,will most likely result in weight loss or weight gain. Persons suffering from weight related conditions like obesity, anorexia, high blood pressures, and diabetes, need to pay keen attention to those food types that are favorable to their conditions.
For instance, anyone wishing to reduce weight should ensure that they identify and adopt a dietary regime comprising of foods that stimulate the body to release more of this hormone. Those intending to gain weight, like sports men and women, should eat foods that suppress Leptin release. One should also adopt healthy lifestyles to avoid losing or gaining too much weight.