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What is the real cause of over-eating? Normally, over eating is the result of irregular eating habits, like skipping breakfast; replacing regular meal to junk snacks (like Coke and potato chips), fasting etc. With you irregular eating habit you damage your Leptin which will result in over-eating!
Leptin is a weight loss hormone produced in the fat of the body and tells you when you have eaten enough or when you are hungry. Research has shown that some people do not always get the message that they have had enough to eat and their bodies secrete more leptin. This causes food cravings and overeating.
Leptin and Its Functions
Leptin hormone is a protein composed of 167 amino acids primarily secreted by adipocytes. It is also secreted in small amounts by epithelial cells in the stomach and placenta. Leptin and its effects were first studied in Jackson laboratory in 1950 in a mouse colony which stemmed random genetically obese mice that intake food in voracious quantity. Studies in these homozygous mice later clarified the role of leptin and the mutant gene that caused the abnormality. Mutation of genes falls in two classes; (ob/ob) class gene that incite mutation in leptine hormone and (db/db) class gene that cause mutation in leptin receptor in the hypothalamus.
Leptin level provides the body an indication of its nutrition level. When adequate amount of fat occurs, the adipose tissues secrete leptin into the blood stream. This has multiple effects countering appetite. Primarily, leptin counteract with Neuropeptide Y, a hypothalamic polypeptide that induces craving for carbohydrates.
Mutation of leptin or leptin receptors in the hypothalamus halts this feedback mechanism inciting disorderly eating and obesity. Other leptin ramifications include the stimulation of production of α-MSH, another appetite suppressant and inhibition of anandamide, another hunger stimulant. These responses of body to the leptin hormone nicknamed it, the obesity hormone. In fact, leptin secretion is more responsive to starvation than obesity.
Leptin Imbalance leads to obesity
Obesity and eating disorders can be fixed with the stabilization of leptin imbalance. When looking in leptin resistance, the major causes include sleep deprivation, high stress, absence of exercise and over-intake of carbohydrates. To fix leptine resistance it is suggested to counteract to each of these causes. Consumption of healthy low carb food is a good starter.
Well the established leptin diet has a proportion of 40% fat, 30% protein and 30% carbohydrates. Avoid sources of carbs such as refined sugar and fructose as they can stimulate insulin in high level and thereby have an adverse effect in leptin response. Stop disorderly consumption of food. And getting good sleep and exercise will complete the circle.
How to improve leptin resistence?
For genetically obese persons normal fixation of leptin resistance may not pay off and thus may require leptin supplements. Leptin supplements are also prescribed to recently weight loosed individuals to maintain the hormone balance and to prevent from regaining weight.
The downsides of these medications are significant side effects including high blood pressure, head ache, dry mouth and constipation. And some of the supplements have abusive nature. Medications having tolerable side effects can cause 10% of weight loss and should be used in combination with dietary and exercise therapy. Effective leptin replacement surgeries are still under final stages of experimentation. [Also read this article]