Losing weight is tricky business. When getting active and counting calories just isn’t working, there may be more working against your efforts to drop the pounds. Weight management may have more to do with hormone levels than pure dedication to healthy choices.
Hormones are responsible for feelings of satiety and hunger. They are also responsible for telling your body how to store fat, motivation levels for working out, and the development of certain weight-related diseases. Your ability to lose pounds or maintain a healthy weight may not have to do with your willpower at all. It may have more to do with one specific hormone and how it is expressed in the body.
WHAT IS LEPTIN?
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that tells your brain whether to increase or limit fat stores. The production of this hormone is derived from basic human survival instincts. Its primary job is to prevent either starvation or overeating. It is essentially responsible for maintaining optimal weight. When leptin levels are high, feelings of satiety should correlate to the intake of fewer calories.
In the comforts of modern times, leptin is less necessary for survival. In fact, with ballooning obesity rates, we are collectively becoming less receptive to this hormone. In 1995 researchers discovered that leptin resistance may be a primary factor in obesity and inflammatory disease.
WHAT IS LEPTIN RESISTANCE?
Inflammation wreaks havoc in the human body, including the ability of receptors in our brain to send and receive signals. In cases of leptin resistance, the body is producing plenty of the hormone leptin, but the brain is not recognizing the message to queue satiety and curb eating.
If you are overweight, particularly if you frequently fall victim to yo-yo dieting or just plain have difficulty losing the weight. You are resistant to leptin. An actual deficiency is very unlikely, there has only been about four confirmed cases of a deficiency and those families suffer from extreme obesity. What is more likely is that your brain is just not receiving the signals to reduce food intake. If you are still not sure, your primary care physician can test your hormone levels.
Leptin resistance works against weight loss efforts in two ways. First, since the brain is not recognizing the leptin signals, it is in starvation mode. The brain is actively working to increase fat stores by sending signals of hunger to consume more calories. Unsatisfiable hunger, sometimes casually referred to as being snacky’, cravings for sweet or salty treats, overeating are common. The second is by slowing down bodily functions to conserve existing fat stores, leaving you to burn fewer calories.
WHAT CAUSES LEPTIN RESISTANCE?
There are still some unknowns as the discovery of leptin and leptin resistance as a factor in prolonged obesity is still somewhat new. One University of Florida study found strong links between the consumption of Fructose in high fat, high calorie diets and the development of leptin resistance.
Obesity is a growing problem in industrialized nations where high fat, high calorie diets are common. Fructose is found naturally in fruits, but it is also added as a sweetener to thousands of processed foods. It is the processed foods that are the biggest concern.
Inflammation in the body is another known cause of leptin resistance. Stress from emotional or physical sources like a difficult job, bad relationship, or chaotic home life may be to blame. The type of stress that causes leptin resistance may also come from environmental factors like UV ray exposure, X ray exposure, hairdryers, cell phones and more subject users to oxidative stress that can lead to resistance.
Elevated levels of free fatty acids in the bloodstream is another factor that may be to blame. These fatty acids make their way to the brain and can interfere with normal signaling.
WHY LEPTIN RESISTANCE CAUSES DIETS TO FAIL
One of the hardest psychological barriers to seeking treatment for weight loss is the fear of failure surrounding past or present dieting experiences. Fears of inadequacies in one’s ability to stick to a diet plan, count calories, work out often enough or hard enough are all burdens that we accept for our failures to lose weight. Both society and common medical practices reinforce these fears as many fail to acknowledge any other cause or barrier to weight loss.
HOW LEPTIN WORKS TO REGAIN WEIGHT
The really defeating thing about leptin resistance is that even when someone manages to lose some weight, the effects are typically not long-term. When leptin levels in the bloodstream decrease, signals are sent to the brain to increase hunger, appetite, and cravings in an effort to consume more calories.
Another problem presents itself when the brain cannot see the already high levels of leptin. Leptin is directly linked to the dopamine-reward system that makes food more rewarding when leptin levels are low. When the brain is still in starvation mode because of the dysfunction in the hormone receptors, the body falsely believes leptin levels are low which signals the dopamine receptors to be stimulated with the intake of food. This makes consuming food a pleasurable experience.
DOES LEPTIN RESISTANCE CAUSE SUGAR CRAVINGS?
Sugar cravings are the result of the brain sending an urgent message for quick and dirty calories. The more that you provide, the more that your body will depend on this type of energy. Your body likes sugar because the energy is already in a form that can be easily used by the body. Fat stores have to be converted to be useable energy which is a lot more work for your body. Instead, your brain will attempt to obtain a more direct source by sending out the message in the form of a sugar craving.
High carbohydrate diets packed full of rice, potatoes, breads, and pastas are the culprit to sugar addictions. Simple carbohydrates break down into simple sugars that provide the easy energy that your body wants.
Leptin resistance plays a big role in sugar cravings because the brain is not actively recognizing signs to reduce food intake. Instead, the brain is operating under starvation mode, continually trying to bring in more calories. One of the most effective ways the brain can accomplish this task is to send out a sugar craving message to prey on weak willpower for some fast cash.
HEALTH CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH LEPTIN RESISTANCE
Obesity is the most obvious sign of leptin resistance. An average of 3 million cases of obesity are reported in the U.S. annually. For many, this serious health condition can be a lifelong struggle. A growing amount of research in the past twenty-five years supports that a primary factor in obesity is leptin resistance.
INCREASED RISK OF HEART ATTACKS
Leptin resistance is also known to cause an excess of belly fat. There is a strong correlation between excess visceral fat and cardiac disease. There are actually two different types of fat. Cutaneous fat is stored just below the skin. Visceral fat is deeper, found around the organs. It is the visceral fat that is troublesome for the heart because this is the fat that the liver metabolizes into bad’ cholesterol.
High levels of leptin have been linked both to disruptions in menstruation and the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These conditions both present pretty serious risks to fertility. Leptin receptors are in many different areas in the body, including where certain steroids are synthesized in the reproductive system.
Leptin is heavily involved in the immune system and dysfunction of this hormone may be associated with the development of autoimmune disorders like Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Hypothyroidism has long-since been associated with weight changes so it is not a stretch to say that Leptin may play a role in thyroid function. With strong ties to the immune system, it comes as no surprise that the same resistance to leptin signals is also linked to inflammatory signals.
Inflammatory diseases are often the result of long term exposure to oxidative stress from mental, physical, environmental or nutritional causes. Diseases like alzheimers, crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and asthma are all caused by inflammation in the body. Research on leptin resistance suggests that obesity may belong on that list as well.
IS LEPTIN RESISTANCE RELATED TO GLUCOSE RESISTANCE?
One of the most common weight-related and inflammatory illnesses, type 2 diabetes is caused by the effects of glucose resistance. There is definitely a link between glucose resistance and leptin resistance, but one does not necessarily cause the other. With that being said, diabetes is an inflammatory disease and leptin is linked to inflammatory responses.
HOW CAN LEPTIN RESISTANCE BE REVERSED?
Increasing or decreasing leptin levels are not likely to have much effect on the function of leptin in the body. The problem is not with the levels, it is with the brain’s ability to recognize and interpret its signals appropriately.
As with any disease, the best approach is to treat the underlying cause. There are still many unknowns in how leptin receptors work, but we do know that there is an inflammatory component which can be treated with supplements. Leptitox is one such supplement that has been created from all natural derivatives.
WHAT IS THE LEPTITOX SUPPLEMENT?
Leptitox is an all-natural supplement that is effective at cleansing and treating many of the systems involved in leptin resistance. It is FDA compliant and made from all-natural derivatives so consumers can have a peace of mind in knowing that it is a safe and effective supplement. So what is in it?
It is believed that extracts from the Jujube shrub are effective at cleansing the body from endocrine disruptors. These are chemicals that mimic hormones and disrupt healthy hormonal function.
Barberry is included to support healthy cholesterol and brain function. Since the disruption to the process involves a breakdown in how the brain receives the message from the leptin receptors, ingredients that boost brain function may be beneficial in correcting the problem.
Grape Seed is considered effective at reducing inflammation and cleansing the body of toxins. Metals like cadmium easily move up the food chain from the soil that plants are grown in. Some metals are necessary for human function, but cadmium is not one of them. There are no known benefits to having cadmium in the body and it is believed that it may even be harmful in accumulation.
Alfalfa has a number of health benefits, among them is to strengthen immunity and circulation. With Leptin resistance having known implications on the immune system, alfalfa may be beneficial in treating the underlying disease.
Chanca piedra supports healthy kidney function. This is where fat is metabolized and is part of the complete system involved in burning and storing body fat.
Marian Thistle has detoxifying properties. Harmful chemicals like BPA from plastic water bottles and aluminum cans commonly used to store foods in can collect in the body and wreak havoc on the endocrine system.
Another antioxidant that cleanses the body and supports healthy kidney function, Taraxacum Leaves also have mild stimulant properties.
Brassicas is the family of vegetables that include things like brussel sprouts and arugula. They are considered a powerhouse antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties.
APIUM GRAVEOLENS SEED
Another natural compound intended to detoxify the body from harmful chemicals absorbed into the body from various plastics.
Supplements like leptitox work by cleansing the body of harmful chemicals that disrupt healthy endocrine function. As a by-product, these supplements may work to help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and support healthy brain function.
In addition to treating the underlying causes that may be responsible for leptin receptor dysfunction, supplements like leptitox can have additional positive benefits. Reduced depression, anxiety and stress have been reported by some users thanks to the sedative properties of Jujube. Weight loss is often secondary to effective treatment of leptin receptor dysfunction. And, improved circulation to all organs in the body promotes overall health.