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Battle Of The Bulge: Low Leptin Levels Undermine Successful Weight Loss

Date:
June 24, 2008
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Obesity puts individuals at increased risk of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes. As 75 to 95 percent of previously obese individuals regain their lost weight, many researchers are interested in developing treatments to help individuals maintain their weight loss. A new study, has provided insight into the critical interaction between the hormone leptin and the brain's response to weight loss and led to the suggestion that leptin therapy after weight loss might improve weight maintenance.

Individuals who are obese are at increased risk of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As 75%-95% of previously obese individuals regain their lost weight, many researchers are interested in developing treatments to help individuals maintain their weight loss.

A new study, by Michael Rosenbaum and colleagues, at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, has provided new insight into the critical interaction between the hormone leptin and the brain's response to weight loss.

Leptin levels fall as obese individuals lose weight. So, the authors set out to see whether changes in leptin levels altered activity in the regions of the brain known to have a role in regulating food intake.

They observed that activity in these regions of the brain in response to visual food-related cues changed after an obese individual successfully lost weight. However, these changes in brain activity were not observed if the obese individual who had successfully lost weight was treated with leptin. These data are consistent with the idea that the decrease in leptin levels that occurs when an individual loses weight serves to protect the body against the loss of body fat.

Further, both the authors and, in an accompanying commentary, Rexford Ahima, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, suggest that leptin therapy after weight loss might improve weight maintenance by overriding this fat-loss defense.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rosenbaum et al. Leptin reverses weight loss–induced changes in regional neural activity responses to visual food stimuli. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2008 DOI: 10.1172/JCI35055

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Battle Of The Bulge: Low Leptin Levels Undermine Successful Weight Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195455.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2008, June 24). Battle Of The Bulge: Low Leptin Levels Undermine Successful Weight Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195455.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Battle Of The Bulge: Low Leptin Levels Undermine Successful Weight Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195455.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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