Research: Low leptin levels tied to obesity.

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Leptin deficiencies tied to weight gain and obesity.

Most people looking to lose weight are looking for a quick and easy weight loss trick. The problem is that this panacea of weight loss is next to near impossible that it nothing more than a dream. So why do many of us have weight problems?

Obesity - Fat Belly
Obesity – Fat Belly

The answer may lie in your leptin or leptin resistance. Leptin is the protein that induces satiety or fullness. If you have enough functional leptin, you will experience fullness. There is a deficiency in leptin that occurs due to our genes. Congenital leptin deficiency is a recessive genetic disorder associated with severe early-onset obesity. It is caused by mutations in the leptin gene.

The leptin gene encodes or determines the structure for the protein product leptin. A recent study looked at the leptin gene mutation and obesity. The researchers looked at severely obese sisters from Colombia. Sequencing of the leptin gene in the sisters revealed a novel mutation that may account for the obesity they are experiencing. The serum leptin levels were undetectable despite their markedly elevated fat mass which might indicate that they were not producing the satiety signal in the presence of having enough food.

The bottom line: The mutation of the leptin gene, the absence of detectable leptin, and the severe obesity found in these sisters provide the first evidence that leptin deficiency or non-functional leptin is a potential cause of obesity. More research is needed, but the results are promising.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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