Can't Keep Pounds Off? Hormone Is Clue
Leptin Imbalance May Restore Weight Lost After Dieting
WebMD News Archive
Dec. 1, 2005 -- A hormonal imbalance may help explain why the pounds dieters
work so hard to lose come back so easily.
A new study suggests that our bodies have a hard time adjusting to weight
loss and may activate internal systems to restore lost fat.
Body weight is regulated by a complex network of hormonal and metabolic
systems. After weight loss, researchers say the body may interpret a newly
svelte physique as deficient in the hormone leptin and jump-start processes to
restore the body to its previous weight.
Leptin is a hormone commonly associated with obesity that plays a role in
regulating weight and appetite.
Leptin May Keep Pounds From Coming Back
In the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation,
researchers examined the effects of leptin injections in people who recently
lost weight and were trying to maintain their weight loss.
The results showed that most of the metabolic and hormonal changes that
normally work against keeping the pounds off were reversed once leptin levels
were restored to the levels before weight loss.
Researchers say those internal changes may help explain why more than 85% of
obese people who lose weight eventually gain it back.
If further studies confirm these effects, researchers say the results
suggest that targeting leptin may help people who have lost weight keep it