Leptin and vicious circle of obesity

If you want to lose weight, the first thing that comes to your mind is to eat less and move more. But scientist think that this formula has long been outdated, since it does not take into account the hormone leptin. This hormone is responsible for the accumulation and breakdown of body fat. It was discovered about 30 years ago and totally changed our understanding of lipids in the human body.

Fat is not a useless load in our body, it is hormonally active. In other words, lipocytes synthesize the hormone leptin, which controls the flow of information about the potential of energy reserves in the body to the central nervous system. The brain specifies the best way to spend the accumulated energy after receiving the information from the central nervous system. At the same time, leptin affects not only the consumption of fat reserves like energy, but also determines behavior, motivation, mood, and even sexual activity of a person.

But some breaks of the hormone activity are the main cause of obesity. In the article we will tell you how to regulate the actions of leptin.


  1. Natural mechanism of loosing extra kilos.
  2. Abundance and deficit mode.
  3. Leptin resistance and its causes.
  4. The vicious circle of obesity.
  5. The mechanism of natural weight loss.

Natural mechanism of loosing extra kilos

Anyone who knows such symptoms as obesity, depression, the constant desire for something to eat, wants to find a magic pill that can solve all these problems at once. But few people know that the natural mechanism for loosing extra pounds is inherent in our body by nature itself. You just need to know how to properly use it.

Leptin completely takes control of calorie consumption: it makes us move more actively after overeating. Leptin also slows down this process after the period of fast, and it automatically keeps a physical activity to a minimum. It turns out that leptin itself solves the problem of balancing the energy reserve. So, counting calories is not necessary.

The essence of leptin action

Leptin is synthesized by adipose tissue and released into the bloodstream. It reaches the brain with the blood flow, more precisely, the hypothalamus which is responsible for energy consumption and body weight are localized. Leptin is a kind of switch that gives the command to either burn fat or accumulate it.

Abundance and deficit mode

Imagine what happens when you change gear in a car. This action launches a gradually increasing of the fuel supply to the engine. At the first gear the car goes very slowly, but on the fifth one it rushes at full speed. Our body is more complicated, but the principle is the same: an energy consumption occurs in abundance or deficit mode. The switch is located in the hypothalamus and acts according to leptin instructions.


In case if there is a lot of fat (energy) is accumulated, your body starts to spend it as much as possible. We consume more calories than we expend, and leptin says: «What a mess!». Extra calories that have been saved by fatty layers, automatically increased the level of the hormone in the blood. Leptin gives a signal to the brain, reporting the need to increase the consumption of extra reserves. What happens next?

Our body acts the next way in abundance mode:

  • it activates the metabolism and breakdown of fats;
  • loses appetite;
  • increases efficiency and endurance, mood and self-confidence;
  • increases the level of stress resistance;
  • makes the level of sex hormones optimal, so libido also grows;
  • increases the level of immunity to unprecedented point.


The level of leptin automatically drops, if we spend more calories than we get from food. At this time, the brain tries to adapt to difficult times and starts to storing fat. How else? We must survive at any cost. This is the exact opposite of abundance mode. What’s going on here?

In deficit mode:

  • appetite grows;
  • the splitting of fat is blocked and the tendency to its accumulation increases;
  • mood drops, a breakdown appears, depression occurs;
  • immunity goes to the level of minimal activity;
  • the production of sex hormones is minimized, sexual desire decreases.

The mode of existence in conditions of malnutrition is an early ability of the human body. Such action saved the lives of our ancestors many times. Feeling the onset of hunger, we reproduce their behavior. Our bodies start to save every calorie, and the brain shouts to us: «Freeze, do not make a single movement unnecessarily, save up your energy». Tell me, does this remind you of anything? And how, for example, do bears hibernate in winter? There is a theory that mammals survived the dinosaurs precisely because of this function.

Interestingly, the transition from abundance mode to scarcity mode takes only 3 days, and back is more than 6 weeks.

Leptin resistance and its causes

Leptin resistance is nothing more than a hormonal imbalance that causes us to save weight. There are two options when the hypothalamus stops listening to leptin commands:

  • a minimum of a hormone in the blood due to extreme depletion of the body;
  • there is enough leptin in the blood, but the hypothalamus does not respond to it due to the developed leptin resistance.

In fact, it turns out that the human brain is confused and does not catch the difference between the minimum and maximum levels of the hormone. But when the hypothalamus doesn’t respond to leptin, the brain thinks that it is a time of a hunger, and switches to deficient mode. Imagine a situation where a patient is diagnosed with leptin resistance. He eats well, his fat grows, which means that his leptin level is also growing. But the body does not switch to excess nutrition mode in order to destroy extra calories, due to the fact that the brain does not perceive the command of leptin. The deficit mode continues, and a person puts off fat, and gets fat by leaps and bounds.

Why does it happen:

  • appetite grows;
  • fat accumulation;
  • decreases motivation, mood;
  • immunity reduces the protective function;
  • sexual impotence.

The causes of leptin insensitivity that can lead to obesity are divided into two broad groups: physiological and nutritional.

Physiological triggers include:

  • hypodynamia;
  • lack of physical activity;
  • long-term stress;
  • insomnia;
  • development of chronic inflammation.

The nutritional triggers for obesity include:

  • constant overeating;
  • the presence of fructose in the diet;
  • extra sugar consumption and carbohydrates in food;
  • passion for fast food, frequent snacks;
  • frequent fasting combined with increased physical activity.

Interestingly, women are more likely to face such problems. Because their self-critical attitude and heightened emotionality make them constantly try newfangled diets. They can provoke natural fullness, breaks metabolism, and causes leptin resistance.

The vicious circle of obesity

The essence of leptin resistance is the development of inflammation with an increase a marker of the inflammatory response (C-reactive protein) in blood. This protein blocks leptin, in other words, the body develops a combination of high levels of leptin with C-reactive protein. Against this background, elevated level of leptin activates the production of C-reactive protein by hepatocytes.

A vicious circle is formed: the more the hormone of hunger, the higher the level of C-reactive protein, and the more active the blocking of leptin. The result is obesity. And this is so, because it has been scientifically proven that any accumulation of fat in the body is associated with chronic inflammation of adipose tissue. In other words, the effect provokes the cause. The ring is closed: a person exists in a state of lack of the hormone leptin, a deficiency mode, but there is no natural breakdown of lipids.

Fatty liver disease

Chronic somatic pathologies can start because of impaired liver function. The accumulation of fat in this organ is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This pathology affects up to 30% of Europeans. The level of leptin in the body rises and obesity develops. But not always: a person can remain thin, but his liver takes the hit.

The beginning of the pathology is a poor nutrition. Unbalanced diets can cause the deposition of visceral fat in the liver. When it becomes too much, inflammatory proteins are released and blocks the leptin activity. This is how obesity occurs. But high levels of leptin makes the course of fatty liver disease worse. This is the second vicious cycle triggered by the break of leptin activity. The condition is reversible with a competent approach to correction.

Natural mechanism of loosing extra kilos

It fits into a simple algorithm with the implementation of certain rules:

  • do not try to lose weight via diet and physical activity;
  • you should establish nutrition according to the system of three eights: 8 hours of sleep, then you can eat anything you like for 8 hours, and then only drink water before bedtime;
  • move to lose the maximum calories to the first half of the day;
  • stop snacking;
  • minimize the proportion of fructose in the menu with low physical activity;
  • go to bed no later than 11 pm;
  • stop chronic stress with a help of a psychologist;
  • correct chronic pathologies.

That’s all. Nothing complicated, because knowledge is always your power.

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