Leptin is the main hormone of satiety. It is the one that is responsible for sending a series of messages to our brain to warn you that we are already “full”, that we are no longer hungry.
However, it is important to qualify a small aspect. It is not the same appetite as hunger.
sino que se le añaden mecanismos cognitivos, perceptivos y sobre todo, emocionales . Appetite is an emotional desire, and therefore, is not always governed by this hormone, but is added cognitive, perceptive and above all, emotional mechanisms.
On the other hand, what we define as “hunger” is a physiological need with which to cover our nutritional deficiencies and allow us to survive.
To say, therefore, that the ideal would always be to eat when we were hungry , is something more than evident.
When our body really requires this contribution of healthy nutrients with which to maintain the structure and cellular functions and provide us with energy is when the satiety hormones such as leptin, perform their function better.
The cravings and the emotional appetite are the ones that cause the most damage to our weight and our health.
Let’s see some more information about how the main hormone of satiety works and how we can “take care” of it so that it works properly and accurately.
1. Leptin: the satiety hormone that abounds in excess in overweight people
It is very possible that this statement has attracted the attention of our readers: if leptin is the satiety hormone, why is there an excess in overweight people?
Let’s see some data to understand it:
- Leptin is a hormone produced mostly by adipocytes (fat cells).
- It is what is known as a “signaling hormone”, that is, it communicates with the hypothalamus to tell you when to stop eating after analyzing that we have already obtained enough fat from the food itself.
- Now, what happens with overweight people is something very striking: they have a resistance to leptin.
- . People with obesity have very high levels of leptin in the blood , that is, they accumulate it without it acting as it should .
Therefore, it is common for them to take longer to feel satiated.
In turn, another problem that may affect this resistance to leptin is that we have some problem in the hypothalamus itself, thus losing sensitivity to this hormone.
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What can we do to reduce resistance to leptin?
- Avoid inflammatory foods
- Consume foods with good fats: olive oil, salmon, avocados …
- Sleep between 7 and 9 hours daily
- Practice regular exercise
2. Leptin, the satiety hormone, has many more functions
We already know that one of the purposes of this hormone is to send signals to the hypothalamus to warn that we have already obtained enough energy, and that we can stop eating because we are satiated.
However, the also known as PN protein also has other functions:
- It inhibits the production of other hormones and other peptides that would increase our desire to eat, such as neuropeptide Y.
- Also, and this data is interesting, leptin increases the caloric and metabolic expenditure, that is, it speeds up the metabolism to allow us to lose weight or eliminate that surplus that we have left over.
3. Very strict diets will reduce your leptin levels
There is a fact that should be remembered: people who carry out very strict diets which cause is to reduce the activity to the maximum of the main hormone of satiety.
- Thus, the diets of very low caloric value or what we all know as “miracle diets” actually pose a risk to our health.
- The levels of leptin fall, our metabolism becomes very slow, the sensation of hunger is more intense and the energy level of our organism decays.
Are they really worth this type of diet? Evidently, no.
4. Stress can make us gain weight due to leptin
We know, there are people who, when they go through a time of great stress, lose weight. However, it is common for anyone who is subjected to what is known as “chronic stress” to happen the opposite.
The reasons why this is so would be explained in the following way:
- The more stress, the higher the level of cortisol in the blood.
- The more cortisol , the more the presence of leptin is reduced.
Consequently, what happens is something that a good part of the population already knows: more feeling of hunger, more pleasure when eating and less energy expenditure.
5. Leptin: is it the best remedy to lose weight?
It is very possible that more than one is already thinking about how to increase the activity of the lectin so that it allows us to feel satiated before and eat much less.
- Well, it should be noted that the satiety hormone works in sync with our brain .
- Therefore, I would never send you a signal to warn you to stop eating when we need more nutrients, more energy.
- It would, therefore, go against our health and is not appropriate.
With all this we want to make something very clear: it is not advisable to buy dietary supplements that claim to have leptin in order to enhance our satiety, just as it is not healthy to undergo miracle or very strict diets.
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If we suffer overweight, the ideal is to go to the doctor to detect if there is any hormonal problem behind.
Also, if we really want to take care of our leptin levels and their correct functionality, we do not hesitate to take a proper diet, practice some exercise and properly manage stress and anxiety.
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