To understand how to increase leptin, we first look at what it is.
Leptin is a fat cell-originating hormone that promotes satiety and suppresses appetite.
Ever since its analog counterpart, Myalept, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a medical treatment for congenital leptin deficiency and lipodystrophy-induced diabetes, leptin has often been talked about in weight loss circles.
In this article, we will talk about the different mechanisms on how to increase leptin in the body and how to apply this knowledge to weight loss, if applicable.
What Is In Leptin?
Leptin is released by adipose or fat cells found all over the body to signal the brain that the stomach is full and that the person has been satiated after eating.
The leptin hormone travels in the bloodstream towards the brain and then attaches to leptin receptors in the hypothalamus.
Leptin cycles with the hunger hormone, ghrelin, to maintain homeostasis of hunger and fullness.
This is the normal pathway that leptin follows in the body.
However, this may not always be the case for some individuals who may have congenital leptin deficiency or acquired leptin resistance.
The former may now be treated with Myalept, a leptin pharmacologic analog, while treatment of the latter is not yet found.
Leptin and Weight Loss
Scientists speculated that if leptin can decrease feelings of hunger, perhaps it can be harnessed into a weight reduction tool too.
They thought that if leptin levels can be increased in the bloodstream, people administered with leptin (typically obese people) will decrease their food intake and stop eating.
But scientists found out that leptin levels are increased in most obese individuals.
So why are they still eating and gaining weight when they have elevated leptin levels?
The answer lies in something called leptin resistance.
Individuals with leptin resistance have increased blood levels of leptin but the leptin receptors in their hypothalamuses do not recognize these increased levels, and therefore the brain cannot send a signal to stop eating and induce satiety.
How to Increase Leptin
The conundrum of increasing leptin levels in obese individuals is complicated by the occurrence of leptin resistance.
Because no matter how much leptin is pumped into the bloodstream of a person who has leptin resistance, it will not do any good.
However, for normal individuals with no leptin resistance, leptin levels may be increased in a few other ways.
Normally, leptin production is triggered when the body’s energy level is increased after food consumption and when fat stores are replenished.
This is the body’s way of signaling the brain that the energy stores are enough and to now stop eating.
This is a feedback process that the body organs follow in order to maintain bodily homeostasis.
At this time, the natural leptin hormone cannot be harvested from another person and injected into another person who is leptin deficient.
What is available at this time is a leptin hormone analog called Myalept developed through recombinant DNA technology.
The injection form of Myalept is called metreleptin.
Myalept is specifically indicated for individuals who have congenital leptin deficiency and those with acquired or congenital generalized lipodystrophy.
Lipodystrophy is the loss of fat tissue that can occur since birth (congenital) or over time (acquired).
It may be present in individuals with juvenile diabetes or in persons with difficult to control diabetes mellitus.
Note that Myalept is not approved for treatment of obesity and will need concurrent evidence for use in treating diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Aside from Myalept, there is no other medication that is known to directly increase leptin levels in the blood stream.
Other Indirect Ways to Help Increase Leptin Levels
There is little direct way to help increase leptin levels in the bloodstream.
But you can do other indirect steps in order to facilitate the normal feedback process that your body undergoes when it releases leptin in the blood stream.
In short, you will need to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and follow a sleeping schedule.
Diets rich in fiber, protein and less in fat often works wonders in stimulating the normal processes in the gut.
High fiber and low fat diets also helps in controlling blood sugar levels, which in turn helps in insulin resistance and leptin resistance.
Following an exercise routine is not only a direct way to help reduce body fat levels but it also promotes healthy energy expenditure.
Sleep is also important since the body needs to rest and recharge allowing time for natural hormones (like leptin) to do their job.
All these steps seem trivial.
In fact, these are the same health advice that you will hear from doctors and health coaches for any other health condition.
But there is truth to it.
After all, you need to engage in healthy physical pursuits to achieve optimum health.