In 1950, a non-obese mouse colony, being studied by a non-profit bio-medical research institution, produced a strain of obese offspring. The scientists studying these mice concluded that there must have been a mutation in a hormone which regulates hunger and energy expenditure. They named the theoretical mutation the “ob” (obesity) mutation. These mutated mice also had features of type 2 diabetes
Forty-five years later, follow-up research identified the first fat cell-derived hormone in humans and named it leptin. The researchers proposed that leptin regulated hunger and energy expenditure. Additional research suggested that resistance to leptin was a possibility and therefore a possible cause of obesity.
Since the discovery of leptin, many leptin-related studies have been performed. Some outcomes observed by some of these studies are worth taking notice:
- Leptin levels are decreased after short-term fasting. Lesson: eat regularly throughout the day
- Serum level of leptin is decreased by sleep deprivation. Lesson: Try to get your 8 every day
- Leptin levels are increased by perceived emotional express. Lesson: This helps explain why we sometimes lose our appetite when we’re under emotional stress. Keeping this in mind when you’re under emotional stress might help you to force yourself to get the nutrition you need in order to deal with the extra stress your body is under.