Falling levels of a hormone called leptin that helps the brain resist tempting foods may explain one reason why people who lose weight often have a hard time keeping it off. Restoring leptin to pre-diet levels may reverse this problem, according to research that appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Leptin is a natural appetite suppressant secreted by fat cells in the body. The researchers found that after weight loss, areas in the brain responsible for regulating food intake were less active when people were shown food images. Areas in the brain responsible for emotion were more active. When the researchers restored leptin to the levels before the dieting, these changes were largely reversed.
Bonnie - as we have discussed many times before, fat cells are an endocrine organ and secrete hormones. The health of these fat cells warrants either calming, healthy messages, or inflammatory messages. Except in rare genetic cases, leptin functions ideally in an optimally healthy host.