Get Everything You Ever Wanted : Hunger: The Carbohydrate and Leptin Connection


Hunger: The Carbohydrate and Leptin Connection

By Terrance Franklin

So far we've read about the main forms of macro-nutrients, the two kinds of metabolic process your body can run on, and why these are important points to consider for survival. In terms of advice the favorite looking quite seriously toward a fat based diet plan rather than one based upon carbohydrates like grains, flour and sugar.

Up to now, we have been concentrating primarily on the results of carbohydrates on insulin in the body. But now, we are about to have a look at a major hormone which has recently came into the spotlight in nutritional science: leptin.

What's important about fat mice?

In 1950, research workers were in the process of raising lab mice for several features. One of the variants was an incredibly hungry mouse that would eat until it was physically not able to. All of these mice would gradually become obese, giving them the appropriate nickname of 'obese mice'.

It was 4 decades before the problem of why the obese mice could eat so much was solved. At Rockefeller University in 1994, a researcher known as Jeffrey Friedman was able to segregate a protein which, when injected to the obese mice, would enable them to eat normally and get back to normal weight. This protein was a mix of 167 amino acids called leptin.

The way that the hormone functions is by managing the body's hunger. Whenever you experience hunger, you will continue to eat until you are 'satisfied', however the quantity of food which will allow you to be satisfied depends upon the hormone. The reason obese mice ate the way they did was because they were genetically not able to either produce the hormone or perhaps not able to have functioning leptin receptors. So they kept eating to fulfill their hunger. This appears like an awesome science story but the applications to survival foods are huge.

Messing up the hormone

Naturally, leptin is the ideal feedback loop to sustaining a proper body weight. It is produced by fat cells themselves, therefore in theory, having more fat cells can make a person feel less hungry. Fat levels will decrease to normal and no one would be at an unhealthy weight. But there are practically billions of human examples to demonstrate that it isn't the situation now.

The main reason this happens is leptin insensitivity. From having constantly high levels of the hormone, the receptors in the brain can not transmit when leptin levels are low or high. In essence, this is exactly what happened with the obese rats - with no capability to tell when they are satisfied they would eat till they could not. This would be devastating in a survival scenario, either causing unnecessarily high food consumption or being incredibly taxing psychologically from constant hunger.

Fortunately, there is a solution for this. Low carb diet plans have been shown to restore sensitivity through two mechanisms. First, they lower blood triglycerides which makes it easier for leptin to reach the human brain. Secondly, they have the effects of lowering bodyfat which contributes to constantly elevated levels of the hormone. Additionally, various carbohydates like fructose and wheat have shown to interfere directly with receptors.

You decrease carbs, you lessen leptin insensitivity, you decrease hunger.

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