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Is Leptin Supplement Effective for Weight Loss?

White adipose tissue (fat) produces leptin, critical in regulating appetite, metabolism, and immune function. Since a lack of leptin has been discovered to cause obesity in mice, its potential for weight loss has gained attention. Therefore, so-called leptin supplements are being sold for weight loss. Read more to learn if they help weight loss as they claimed.

What is leptin?

Leptin is a hormone produced by white adipose tissue. It involves regulating appetite, energy balance, and body weight.

When body fat decreases, leptin synthesis decreases, too. Reduced leptin levels signal energy deficiency in the brain. As a response, the brain signals organs to increase hunger and lower energy expenditure.

If the food intake and body weight increase, leptin levels rise again, which signals the brain to inhibit hunger, resulting in decreased food intake.

Factors such as body fat, hormones, diet, sleep, stress, genetics, and general health can affect leptin synthesis and function.

Is more leptin better?

The body delicately regulates leptin balance. More leptin does not mean less hunger or lower body weight. In fact, obese individuals have a higher likelihood of having increased leptin levels and leptin resistance.

In leptin resistance the function of this hormone is disturbed. Even though leptin levels are high, the brain does not send signals that reduce food intake and increase energy expenditure, which can cause weight gain and obesity.

Leptin supplements vs. leptin hormone: what's the difference?

Leptin is a hormone the body produces, and it's not sold as a supplement.

The 'leptin supplements' are just dietary supplements that contain a combination of dietary ingredients including but not limited to herbal extracts, vitamins (such as B complex vitamins), minerals (such as chromium), linoleic acid, caffeine, raspberry ketones, and so on.

As a medication, leptin is prescribed to treat certain leptin-related conditions, such as congenital leptin deficiency, in which the body does not produce leptin as it should.

Are leptin supplements for weight loss effective?

There are no leptin supplements that actually contain leptin; however, some dietary supplements are claimed to help weight loss by influencing leptin levels.

Some dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and L-carnitine, have been shown to influence leptin levels. However, there is not enough evidence to support the use of specific combinations of nutrients for weight loss through balancing leptin hormone levels.

Are leptin supplements safe?

Many dietary supplements are sold as leptin supplements with a claim to increase leptin levels and help with weight loss. Since these dietary supplements contain various nutrients in various amounts, a healthcare professional should carefully evaluate a product's safety and efficacy for the patient. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking them.

Do I need leptin supplements to lose weight?

You don't need dietary supplements that claim to help weight loss. In fact, there is not enough evidence to support the beneficial effects of dietary supplements on weight loss through improving leptin levels or resistance.

A healthy and balanced diet alongside exercise is the established way to achieve healthy weight loss. If you're having trouble with healthy eating or don't lose weight besides following a healthy diet and exercise plan, consult your doctor and dietitian for help.

Natural ways to support healthy leptin levels

Although you may see products promising to boost leptin levels and help weight loss, there is insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of specific nutrients in improving leptin resistance. However, healthy and balanced nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes can help healthy leptin levels.

Maintaining healthy body weight

Increased leptin levels and leptin resistance are associated with obesity. Strategies to maintain a healthy weight, such as following a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise, can support healthy leptin levels.

Quality of sleep

Sleep can directly and indirectly affect leptin levels. A study investigated the relationship between chronic short sleep duration and leptin levels. The result concluded that short sleep duration was significantly associated with low leptin levels. 5-hour sleepers had about 15% lower leptin levels than 8-hour sleepers.

A meta-analysis concluded that blood leptin levels were higher in people with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a sleep disorder characterized by upper airway obstruction. Therefore, getting enough quality sleep can support healthy leptin levels.

Stress management

Psychological stress is a common problem for modern people. Most people experience increased daily stress, burnout, and anxiety at times. Higher perceived psychological stress has been shown to affect leptin levels. Since stress may influence leptin levels, interventions to reduce psychological stress can support healthy leptin levels.

Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate appetite, energy expenditure, and body weight. Its levels are delicately balanced by your body. A healthy body weight can support healthy leptin levels. Unless there are leptin-related disorders, you don't need interventions to manipulate leptin levels.

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