What does an increase in the hormone leptin mean?

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What does an increase in the hormone leptin mean?
What does an increase in the hormone leptin mean?

Find out why the hormone leptin is important in our body and what steps to take to normalize its levels. Some people take the obesity epidemic with a grin. However, in 2011, WHO officially announced its start. Moreover, even children are susceptible to this disease. Before the obesity epidemic was announced, scientists were able to discover a new hormone - leptin, which they called the satiety hormone.

In the course of numerous studies, it has been found that leptin accelerates the process of fat burning in animals. At the moment, scientists from different countries of the planet are trying to find a way to make an anti-obesity drug out of this substance. Today we will try to answer the question as accurately as possible, leptin hormone is increased, what does this mean?

What is Leptin?

A graphical explanation of what leptin is

The name of the hormone can be translated from Greek as weak, thin or slender. If there is no doubt about the ability of a substance to preserve the harmony of a person, then the language simply does not turn to call it weak. Scientists have proven in the course of research that this is one of the main hormones in our body.

You are probably aware that there are several groups of hormonal substances. Leptin belongs to adipokines. Simply put, it is produced not by special glands, but by adipose tissues, and its molecules are composed of special substances - cytokines. These are kind of information molecules that are able to transmit certain information directly to the hypothalamus.

The information transmitted by them contains data on the amount of body fat, as well as their increase or decrease after each meal. This allows the hypothalamus to decide on how to correct the situation. Also note that leptin is a peptide in structure and consists of more than 160 amines. There are two types of leptin receptors in the body - short and long. The first type is mainly found in the hypothalamus, while the second type receptors are distributed throughout the body.

Where and how is leptin synthesized?

List of sites for leptin synthesis

As we have said, most of the hormone is produced by the cellular structures of the white adipose tissues. This ability is directly possessed by fat cells, also called adipocytes. However, there are other tissues that can produce this substance:

  1. White adipose tissue - located in the lower abdomen, thighs, buttocks and in the peritoneum.
  2. Placenta.
  3. Epithelium of the mammary gland.
  4. Mucous membrane of the stomach.
  5. Skeletal musculature.

The rate of hormone production can be influenced by various factors. This is important to remember for the exact answer to the question, leptin hormone is elevated, what does this mean? Most often, a powerful release of a substance is observed after a plentiful meal, sleep, a high concentration of glucose and insulin. This suggests that in a dream, a person can lose weight. When the body is in a starvation state, the production of leptin slows down dramatically. Also, the consumption of coffee, smoking, low ambient temperatures, etc., leads to a decrease in the rate of production of the substance.

The main functions of leptin

List of functions of the hormone leptin

We have already said that leptin in the body regulates satiety. The work of a substance can manifest itself as follows:

  • due to the transfer of information to the hypothalamus, appetite decreases;
  • the process of thermogenesis increases, since fatty acids are used by the body to obtain energy and its subsequent transformation into heat;
  • takes an active part in the neurogenesis of the hypothalamus;
  • affects the rate of dopamine synthesis;
  • the production of estrogen is stimulated;
  • the menstrual cycle in women is regulated and the efficiency of their reproductive system is increased;
  • insulin secretion slows down;
  • enhances the body's defense mechanisms.

Leptin is closely related to the work of the hypothalamus, and after the transmission of information to this part of the brain, nerve signals are sent to the saturation center, suppressing the feeling of hunger. More recently, scientists have discovered that the hormone is able to affect the synthesis of dopamine. This gave them a reason to assume that "stress seizing" is directly related to the deficiency of these hormones.

Also, leptin can directly affect the production of insulin. However, this property of the substance also has a negative side, because with its high concentration in the body, insulin resistance develops. As a result, type 2 diabetes may appear. Another negative property of the hormone is the ability to reduce the elasticity of blood vessels. This can be one of the reasons for the formation of blood clots.

Leptin - if the hormone is elevated, what does it mean?

Schematic Explanation of Increased Leptin Concentration

To answer the question - the leptin hormone is increased, what does this mean, it is necessary to find out what concentration of the substance is the norm. Much depends on age and gender. Until puberty in boys and girls, the concentration of the hormone is approximately equal. However, during puberty, this indicator begins to change dramatically.

This can be explained by two facts:

  1. In the female body, the amount of adipose tissue is greater.
  2. Estrogens take part in the production of the hormone during puberty.

Thus, in women aged 15 to years, the normal concentration of leptin is 32.8 ng / mol. This indicator may differ up or down by 5.2 ng / mol. For men, a concentration of about 16.8 ng / mol is normal, and the permissible deviation in either direction is 10.8 ng / mol. After 20 years, the concentration of leptin begins to gradually decline.

When using classical dietary programs in the body, the concentration of leptin is reduced. This is due to a decrease in the amount of adipose tissue that produces the substance. It is quite obvious that with anorexia, the level of the substance will also be extremely low. The last reason for low leptin levels should be considered genetic disorders in the work of the hormonal system.

If we talk about the fact that the leptin hormone is increased, what does this mean, then this is possible in the following situations:

  • obesity and eating a lot of food;
  • non-insulin dependent diabetes (second type);
  • period of pregnancy;
  • menstruation.

With obesity, there is always a high concentration of leptin, which is quite logical, because the body contains a lot of fatty tissues. We talked about the fact that the hormone promotes fat burning, but this is possible only at a certain level of the substance. After overcoming it, leptin resistance sets in, and the hypothalamus ceases to adequately respond to the hormone.

Why do many diets fail?

Diet diary

We just mentioned the term leptin resistance. This condition can manifest itself in the following situations:

  1. Chronic inflammatory processes.
  2. High concentration of free fatty acids.
  3. High rate of hormone production by adipose tissues.
  4. Frequent consumption of sugar, including fructose.

With this information, it is possible to understand the reasons for the inoperability of strict dietary programs. All people who have used such diets will agree that at first the weight goes away quickly, but then the process stops. Moreover, more often than not, it is not possible to keep the results obtained and a rollback occurs.

Scientists are confident that the main reason for this phenomenon lies precisely in leptin resistance. In the process of losing weight, the amount of adipose tissues decreases, and the concentration of the hormone decreases. However, this does not lead to a decrease in leptin resistance.The hypothalamus does not notice the presence of the hormone in the bloodstream and the brain is sure that the period of fasting has begun.

This forces the brain to urgently activate special survival processes, which primarily lead to a decrease in energy consumption. At the same time, appetite increases sharply, as the concentration of ghrelin increases. Lack of desire to move and a strong desire to eat makes a person gain weight.

Is it possible to get rid of leptin resistance?

Girl measures her waist

Those people who have heard about the body's resistance to leptin, want to know about possible ways to correct the situation. Unfortunately, there are few of them, and most often a person during the period of weight loss is interested in methods of reducing the concentration of a substance. You already know that it is quite simple to achieve this - to reduce the amount of adipose tissues. This is what strict dietary nutrition programs are for.

However, you probably already understand that they cause harm to the body. First of all, this concerns the development of resistance to the hormone leptin. It is necessary to understand that your nutritional program during the period of weight loss should be aimed not at reducing the concentration of the hormone itself, but at the body's insensitivity to it. We will now show you how this can be achieved.

First of all, you need to exclude sugar from the diet, including fructose. You should not use sweeteners either, as they are not as good as the manufacturers say. Although these substances have almost zero energy value, they can increase hormone resistance.

Since even slow carbohydrates can cause leptin resistance, it is necessary to minimize the amount of this nutrient in the body. However, now we are not talking about carbohydrate-free nutrition programs. Include more protein in your diet, as these substances increase your body's sensitivity to leptin. In addition, it is important to consume sufficient amounts of plant fiber, both insoluble and soluble. These substances have the ability to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestinal tract. In addition, fiber normalizes the state of microflora, which is important for the normal process of digestion.

I would like to say a few words about such a product as sauerkraut. It contains a large amount of plant fiber as well as probiotics. These substances are also able to normalize the microflora in the intestinal tract. In addition to all of the above, in order to combat insulin resistance, it is necessary to normalize the lipid profile. To do this, introduce healthy fats into your diet.

Many people believe that only unsaturated fats are healthy. However, when losing weight, your diet should include not only monounsaturated fats, but also saturated ones. Among the sources of these substances, we recommend paying special attention to coconut oil. This is due to the product's ability to accelerate the utilization of adipose tissues. Be sure to exclude unhealthy plant fats and trans fats from your diet. Well, in conclusion, it is worth recalling that buy only those products that contain a minimum of various additives or are not at all absent.

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