Hormonal Imbalances May Be The Reason You Are Overweight

Published: 05th June 2009
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Many people struggle to lose weight. New scientific studies regarding weight loss have shown what may be a missing link in the weight loss puzzle.

The phenomenon is known as "Leptin Resistance."

"Leptin Resistance" in the overweight, or obese, is similar in nature to "Insulin Resistance" in diabetics, and although not widely talked about, it's extremely common.

Many studies are pointing to the fact that this hormonal imbalance may have everything to do with being overweight.

Leptin is a newly discovered hormone, produced in fat cells. Its job is to regulate fat storage and mediate hunger.

Leptin Resistance occurs when the body is no longer efficient at carrying Leptin across the blood-brain barrier to the brain, specifically the hypothalamus.

In order for Leptin to perform its "weight loss magic" and control body weight and metabolism, it has to do so from the brain.

When brain levels of Leptin are low because the brain never 'hears' or 'receives' its signals, due to Leptin Resistance, food cravings and weight gain occur because the body believes that it is hungry and will go into a state of persistent fat storage while hormonally signaling for more food.

When you eat a 'normal' amount of food, your levels of the hormone Leptin increase to signal a sense of fullness.

You've also probably noticed that when you eat 'normal' amounts of food, you feel more satisfied, have less food cravings and just feel better all around. This is Leptin doing its job. Leptin is, in part, a weight management mechanism that is 'built into' your system.

Not only does the hormone have a hand in controlling the two most important factors in weight control; food intake and fat storage. But also sexual development, immunity, GI function, reproduction, the nervous system during stressful times, brain function and red blood cell production.


And The Research Proves It...

Restoring sensitivity to leptin allows most people to lose weight and control cravings. You can safely and naturally lose weight: thyroid function can improve.

In a study reported in February of 2009, when calories were restricted 40% for 25 days, significantly reduced leptin, thyroid hormones and increased corticosteroid levels resulted. Leptin replacement for the last 10 days of the study normalized the leptin and TSH levels.

In a University of Miami study reported in August 2008, leptin replacement in a 5-year-old morbidly obese boy with leptin gene mutation resulted in substantial increases in the rates of brain development with some skills increasing more than what was expected for his age. High blood pressure reversed totally as did high levels of insulin and fat abnormalities.

In another case study, a female with type 2 diabetes treated with Leptin replacement decreased her insulin resistance and lost weight.

Scientists have found that many overweight individuals can have Leptin Resistance. In fact, researchers at Harvard University say that "Almost all forms of obesity are Leptin Resistant...."

If you've been chronically overweight or obese, chances are there has been a hidden reason why you haven't been able to lose weight.

You may be suffering from Leptin Resistance.

References: Yukawa M, Phelan EA, Callahan HS, Spiekerman CF, Abrass IB, Weigle DS. Leptin levels recover normally in healthy older adults after acute diet-induced weight loss. J Nutr Health Aging. 2008 Nov;12(9):652-6.

Volpe SL, Kobusingye H, Bailur S, Stanek E. The effects of diet and exercise on the body, leptin levels, caloric intake in overweight people. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Apr;27(2):195-208.

Paz-Filho GJ, Babikian T, Asarnow R, Esposito K, Erol HK, Wong ML, Licinio J. Leptin replacement improves cognitive development. PLoS ONE. 2008 Aug 29;3(8):e3098.

Araujo RL, Andrade BM, da Silva ML, Ferreira AC, Carvalho DP Md. Tissue-specific deiodinase regulation during food restriction and low replacement dose of leptin in rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Feb 10.

Ziylan YZ, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R. Leptin transport in the CNS. Cell Biochem Funct. 2009 Feb 9;27(2):63-70.


Dr. Ron Spallone, D.C. is a wellness writer and practitioner. Together with world-class fitness expert, Roger Asmus, they have a natural health and fitness blog.

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