Leptin Injections may
help Dieters Keep the Weight Off
One of the big problems with dieting is gaining back weight. Dieters
may lose the pounds but put them right back on. Scientists are
beginning to learn why.
Researchers at New York’s Columbia University found that overweight
people may not produce enough of the leptin hormone. The hormone is
made in the fat tissue so as a person loses weight the leptin hormone
level falls. This could be the reason why 85% people that lose weight
often put at least some of the weight back on.
The researchers gave doses of leptin to both obese and lean volunteers
who recently lost weight. They found that controlling leptin levels
dieters were able to keep the weight from creeping back in people that
Previously doctors have given morbidly obese patients injections of
leptin. Those patients with a leptin deficiency were able to lose
weight. If the obese person had normal levels of leptin the injections
had no effect.
Body weight is regulated by metabolic, neuroendocrine, and autonomic
systems. These systems work together to restore body weight in people
who have lost weight. The leptin doses reversed most of the metabolic,
neuroendocrine and autonomic changes that occur in an effort to counter
reduced body weight.
A drug may be developed to help dieters produce their own leptin. But
some researchers stress this is not the silver-bullet. leptin may
prevent the physiological response that encourages people to put weight
on, but it does not deal with the emotional aspect. Behavioral therapy
may still be needed.
The study appears in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Dieting
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