Obesity: a rising epidemic in American culture. But what is the solution? Diet and exercise clearly come to mind as well as possible surgery in some cases, but if you could take a prescription to help you lose weight, would you?
Our article this week was on the way obesity is affected by leptin. You may be asking, what is leptin and how is it used in the body? Leptin is a hormone naturally found in the body that plays a role in making you feel full. Certain sugars that are commonly found in processed foods, like high fructose corn syrup, slow down the release of leptin. This means that if your diet is high in leptin suppressing sugars, you will not feel full as fast and will therefore eat more. So the question is, would a supplementing leptin into the body as well as cutting back on foods that cause leptin suppression help with weight loss?
Based on the basic knowledge I just provided, you are probably thinking “yes that sounds like an excellent idea!” However, it has been tested and unfortunately, the tests failed. In essence what happens when adding leptin into the body, is the body becomes immune. Meaning the leptin therapy will work for a while, but higher and higher dosages will be necessary over time in order to continue getting weight loss results. Also, upon discontinuing leptin therapy, the person will end up binge eating as their body will not recognize the natural level of leptin in the body and will therefore not signal that the person is full.
Unfortunately what I am saying is there is no miracle solution. Diet and excersise are still the healthiest and most effective ways of dealing with obesity. As I have discussed already, however, research shows that there may be more than just a poor diet and exercise plan contributing to the obesity epidemic. And just because supplementing leptin does not appear to be a miracle fix, there is nothing to say that further research will not find a way to aid in weight loss.
Something that can be effective is cutting back on highly processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup as these slow the release of leptin as I stated earlier. Not only does high fructose corn syrup cause leptin suppression, it can also be hard to digest. Fructose is a sugar found naturally in many foods, especially fruits. However, many people have problems digesting even the natural form of fructose and eventually need to cut all fructose out of their diet. High fructose corn syrup is a highly processed form of fructose that is found in close to every processed food available for purchase from cereals to fruit juices. For this reason, as you can imagine, developing fructose intolerance can be very difficult to deal with.
So what can you do to help achieve your weight loss goals? For now, eat healthy and exercise daily and maybe one day there will be an easier fix to your growing waistline.
For more information on the biggest sources of high fructose corn syrup in your diet see: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-sources-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup-in-your-diet.html