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  • Stress may decrease leptin’s weight-reducing effect

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, April 11, 2005 6:55 am Email this article
    Stress hormones may increase weight by interfering with the effects of leptin according to a recent study.

    A single dose of leptin modestly decreased food intake and body weight in normal rats.

    Leptin more potent at reducing appetite when stress hormones missing

    However, when their adrenal glands had been removed to prevent the production of glucocorticoid stress hormones, leptin’s effect was much more potent and longer lasting.

    Stress hormones reduce leptin’s effect

    Likewise, when these rats were supplemented with glucocorticoids, that is stress hormones, the effect of leptin was markedly inhibited and in a dose dependent manner based on the amount of glucocorticoids given.

    This may explain why people with Addison’s disease have a loss of appetite, and obese people have apparent leptin resistance

    The authors suggested that this may help explain why cases of adrenal insufficiency (e.g. Addison’s disease) are characterized by a loss of appetite—these people have a deficiency of stress hormone, thus increasing leptin’s effect—, and a possible cause of apparent leptin resistance in many obese people with elevated leptin levels—suggesting that if obese people have elevated levels of stress hormone, this would reduce leptin’s effect.

    This may help to explain why stress often leads to overeating.


    Zakrzewska KE. Cusin I, Sainsbury A, Rohner-Jeanrenaud F, Jeanrenaud B. Glucocorticoids as counter-regulatory hormones of leptin: clues to the understanding of leptin resistance. International Journal of Obesity, 1997 June, 21(Suppl 2):S31 abstract 71.


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