Nutrition Business Journal

Hormone Helps Brain Resist Tempting Foods

Shortages of a hormone called leptin may cause dieters to pack weight back on according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Leptin helps the brain resist tempting foods, making it invaluable to dieters and those looking to shed a few pounds. Researchers suggest that restoring leptin levels to pre-diet levels may help keep the pounds off.

In previous studies, researchers found that when people lose weight, leptin levels fall as the body tries to protect its energy stockpiles. Michael Rosenbaum of Columbia University Medical Center noted, “Areas of your brain involved in telling you not to eat seem to be less active. You are more responsive to food and you are less in control of it.”

Researchers studied six obese patients before and after undergoing diets that reduced their body weight by ten percent. Rosenbaum used function magnetic resonance imaging to monitor activity in the brain. The subjects were shown pictures of food and non-food items and it was noted that areas in the brain responsible for food intake were less active when images of food were shown.

In 2007, U.S. consumers spent $1.7 billion on weight-loss pill form supplements according to NBJ estimates. Rosenbaum believes new therapies could become available to help people lose weight as a result of this study. To read more, go here.

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