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Excess insulin blocks leptin in the brain, stores more fat and leads to weight gain, Lustig, MD
Monday, June 11, 2012 2:58 pm Email this article
High levels of insulin, caused by eating "the industrial, global diet" which includes too much sugar, causes the body to store more calories as body fat, which starves muscles cells, and makes you feel tired and hungry, and therefore you eat more to compensate for this, leading to weight gain notes Robert Lustig, MD, pediatric endocrinoligist from the University of California, San Francisco in the 7-part video series called “The Skinny on Obesity” (Episode 3). This is the vicious cycle that is the cause of the obesity epidemic of the last 30 years notes Lustig.
Leptin is a hormone from fat cells to tell the brain you’ve had enough and can burn calories at a normal rate
“Leptin is a hormone that goes from your fat cells to your brain, and tells your brain you’ve had enough, and that you can burn energy at a normal rate, and feel good about it.”
People with obesity have leptin resistance
“[With] obesity, you have high levels of leptin because you have lots of fat.”
“It limits what you eat, and it lets you exercise, spontaneously, because you want to.”
“But if leptin were doing it’s job, you wouldn’t be obese… Clearly the leptin is not doing its job.”
“We call that leptin resistance.”
“And discovering the cause of leptin resistance is the holy grail of obesity research.”
“How come leptin used to work 30 years ago, but doesn’t work today?”
Excess Insulin Causes Leptin Resistance
Lustig’s research as found that elevated levels of insulin causes leptin resistance
“Our research has found some very significant findings [as to the cause of leptin resistance]... insulin.”
Lustig explains that high levels of insulin, caused by eating too much sugar, causes the body to store more calories as body fat, which starves muscles cells, and makes you feel tired and hungry, and therefore you eat more to compensate for this, leading to weight gain.
Insulin Blocks Leptin in the Brain
Insulin blocks leptin in the brain causing leptin resistance
He notes that they have found that insulin blocks leptin in the brain.
The Vicious Cycle
The Vicious Cycle of excess insulin leading to leptin resistance, leading to an increase in hunger and weight gain
So, as Lustig explains, when we eat the modern American diet and consume lots of sugar-laden foods, the higher your insulin levels go which blocks leptin in the brain, the more food your store, the hungrier you get, and the fatter you become.
Robert Lustig, MD. The The Skinny on Obesity, Episode 3.
UCTV Prime: The Skinny on Obesity
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