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Leptin and Obesity Q/A

So I’ve covered quite a bit of how the range of leptin is related to obesity but here are some basic questions + answers that I think may feel more relevant.

1) Are there foods rich in leptin that can help suppress my appetite?

First of all, the digestive tract cannot absorb leptin, so even if you could find a food rich in leptin it wouldn’t help - forget about finding foods rich in leptin. The body has to create its own leptin.

Second, you don’t actually want high leptin levels in your blood - what you want is for your body to respond to leptin more efficiently (ultimately resulting in LOWER leptin levels!).

Leptin acts to curb appetite and to increase metabolism. So it would seem that you would want to increase leptin levels. But over time, high leptin levels in your blood eventually results in leptin insensitvity - similar to diabetes. Also, genetics makes some people less responsive to leptin than others.

The real key is to make your body more sensitive to leptin - so that you will maintain a high metabolic rate and low appetite even if leptin levels drop. And as you lose weight, leptin levels drop, because fat itself causes the body to produce more leptin.

So your question should be “What foods make the body more sensitive to leptin?”

And the answer is that there are indeed some foods that apparently help the body become more efficient at processing leptin. How this works is not yet known - it is still being studied. But we do know that foods that seem to help include: Fish, primarily, then pulses (kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, lentils), then other vegetables.

Studies have shown that people with high levels of fish in their diet have low leptin levels (their bodies respond to leptin more efficiently, so the body doesn’t produce as much leptin). In populations that don’t eat lots of fish, leptin levels are usually higher, even when caloric intake, body fat levels, and weight are similar to those who eat lots of fish. After fish, high intake of pulses appears to be effective at decreasing leptin levels (again, increasing leptin sensitivity). After pulses, generally a diet rich in vegetables appears to aid in increasing leptin sensitvity. 

That answer came from - and I did make sure to read it to ensure its validity:  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_foods_have_leptin#ixzz1GvVanND2

2) What’s the leptin diet and does it actually work?

The leptin diet is a diet written up by nutritionist Byron Richards in which he puts out a few guidelines for eating habits (as with any diet book).  It pretty much says that eating excessive carbs and snacking is probably one of the largest hurdles to establishing leptin sensitivity.  Eating large meals or eating too frequently can also lead to a decrease in leptin sensitivity.  He suggests that having protein for breakfast is a step that can be taken to restore leptin sensitivity. He also recommends fiber-rich foods and leafy greens.

My take on it?  Yeah, it’d probably work as it sounds like every other diet - eat fish, legumes, have less carbohydrates and snack less.  Oh and eat your greens.  So like any other diet that focuses on these aspects, you’ll lose weight.

3) How can I decrease the levels of leptin in my body?

Well, besides eating foods (fish, legumes, fibrous vegetables) mentioned above, remember that the more body fat you have, the more leptin that is produced.  Restricting caloric intake will help too - but I imagine that’s because it helps to - in the long term - reduce your body fat.

4) What are the side effects of not having enough leptin?

Well.  Let’s assume you mean genetically having a problem with the leptin gene or the leptin receptor gene.  And that means that either your leptin’s out of whack or there aren’t any receptors to process the leptin.  That’d equal beyond morbid obesity and huge cravings. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9537324

5) What are the side effects of having too much leptin?

Too much and it seems to lead to leptin insensitivity meaning that even if your body makes more leptin to account for the increased eating, it’s not processing it properly.  So this could lead to continued obesity, higher fatty acid levels, and a number of the side effects as cited in the last article about leptin. 

If however you’re receiving leptin treatments.  There are a few things you may be able to expect:

Leptin can cause an increase in a person’s heart rate. This is because medical injections of Leptin are meant to stimulate the metabolism. An increased metabolism can also lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Leptin can cause an increase in the excretion of urine and the amount of perspiration produced by the body. This is because leptin increases energy expenditure by all systems of the body. To avoid dehydration while being injected with leptin, increase your fluid intake.

Leptin injections can cause insomnia and other sleep complications in some people. This is because it has a stimulative effect on the body.

All this to say - common sense when eating.  And if you’re already overweight, work on bringing it down!  Less snacking and carbohydrates, and more veggies and healthy meats like fish!

@atdiy/@tymkrs

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  1. tymkrs posted this