Sunday, December 16, 2012

Leptin? I hardly know him!

Hey, guys!

This week we're taking a look at Leptin! You most likely have not heard about it, since these days the focus is on Insulin resistance. Leptin, however, is just as important. So, what is Leptin? According to

"Leptin is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. It is one of the most important adipose derived hormones."

For a more simple definition, I found an interesting analogy from Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist:

"Leptin is the king of hormones, the commander and chief of virtually everything that takes place in your body. Leptin is actually a hormone – meaning that once it is released it will travel to another area of your body to make things happen – similar to the idea of placing a phone call to someone you wish to speak with and asking them to do something. In the case of leptin it is actually made in your white adipose tissue or stored fat. This finding alone has revolutionized the entire field of endocrinology – as previously stored fat was just thought to be a warehouse for extra calories. Our new understanding means that your stored fat is actually a metabolic organ, much like your thyroid gland or adrenal glands.

Once leptin is released from your fat it enters your blood and travels up to your brain, delivering a message as to how much fuel you have on hand. When your brain answers the leptin phone call and listens to the message, it tells you how fast you can run your metabolism based on how much gas is in your gas tank. In a sense the leptin phone call to your brain is like a gas gauge in your car. You have no way to see how much gas is in your tank – you rely on the gauge, before you pull over and fill ’er up. Likewise, your subconscious brain has no way to see how much stored fat you have on hand, it relies on the leptin gauge to determine your state of overall nutrition and fuel reserves.
If the leptin gauge is reading low it means eat more. When you’ve eaten enough, leptin levels rise, and the leptin gauge in your subconscious brain now says your tank is full – resulting in a full signal. One of the most basic leptin problems encountered by any person who is overweight is that their leptin gauge is sticky, or in more advanced cases broken. This means that you will have a subconscious drive to eat more food than you really need, in order to feel satisfied.
Since leptin is controlling the rate your body makes energy, and since energy is needed by everything in your body to do anything, leptin issues are core to survival and your health. This is why leptin is so powerful, and why I call it the king of hormones."

The best part? I found 2 studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that showed Acupuncture helped regulate Leptin levels and induced weight loss! Below are the findings of one of the studies:


Acupuncture treatment decreased insulin and leptin levels and induced weight loss, together with a decrease in BMI compared with sham acupuncture.


These findings suggest that acupuncture may help to regulate weight owing to its beneficial effects on hormones such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin and CCK in obese subjects even after a few weeks of treatment."

I personally feel that acupuncture has helped me in my weight loss efforts. With a healthy diet, exercise, lowering stress, and acupuncture, I've lost 46 pounds since January of 2011! I feel that acupuncture has helped lower my stress and elevated my mood, which has made it much easier to follow a healthy lifestyle.  Mention our blog and get a FREE stress treatment!

Until next week,

Maplebrook Community Acupuncture

P.S. Below are links I pulled from in case you would like to read further! -- 2nd leptin study