Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
Leptin, a recently discovered hormone, regulates body weight by suppressing food intake and/or increasing energy expenditure.
Leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by fat cells.
Science has discovered that leptin is the most powerful metabolic regulator that tells your brain whether you should be hungry, eat and make more fat.
Basically, leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it.
In a perfect world, as you gain weight, you secrete more leptin from your fat cells. This in turn tells your brain you have enough stored fat so it reduces your appetite sending messages to help you burn fat.
But there is a problem!
Unfortunately many people have something called "leptin resistance". This means that no matter how much leptin you create from your fat cells, the brain doesn't see it. This leads to a cascade of your brain thinking you are starving ======> you burn less calories ====>your appetite goes into overdrive and finally every bit of food you eat gets stored on your belly!
Until you address leptin resistance, you're not going to lose weight!
Optimal Leptin Levels
Your goal is to keep your leptins below 12, however, not too low. Researchers have discovered that leptins too far to the low side has been associated with dementia or Alzheimer's.
A leptin above 12 is not considered healthy.
Leptin levels can now be measured with a simple blood test. Levels above 12 are linked to weight gain, accelerated aging, increased risk of infertility, diabetes and heart attack. In addition, high leptin levels are associated with belly fat and numerous cancers
Leptin rises if you don't sleep well, and if you have any kind of perceived stress.
If you are having difficulty losing weight, I recommend you get your leptin checked. Remember you want it under 12. From a thyroid perspective, if your leptin is above 12 you will commonly see low T3 (the most metabolically active thyroid hormone) and elevated reverse T3. This is not good for those trying to lose weight. The thyroid medication Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is aT4 medication and should be used with some level of caution when high leptin levels are seen. The take away from this thyroid connection is the fact that reverse T3 means T4 is not being effectively converted into the metabolic workhorse hormone, T3.
You become leptin resistant by eating the typical American diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. The solution is to eat a diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes. Basically a diet that emphasize healthy fats, lean meats and vegetables, and restricts sugar and grains.
For a full thyroid/leptin work-up, I recommend a practitioner knowledgeable in functional medicine.
Kozlowska, Rosolowska-Huszcz. Leptin, thyrotropin, and thyroid hormones in obese/overweight women before and after two levels of energy deficit.Endocrine. 2004 Jul;24(2):147-53.
Hsieh CJ1, Wang PW, Wang ST, Liu RT, Tung SC, Chien WY, Lu YC, Chen JF, Chen CH, Kuo MC.Serum leptin concentrations of patients with sequential thyroid function changes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2002 Jul;57(1):29-34
Ríos, Cisternas, Arrese, Barja. Is Alzheimer's disease related to metabolic syndrome? A Wnt signaling conundrum.Prog Neurobiol. 2014 Jul
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.
Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
People with high cholesterol live the longest.
This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one´s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance.
Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers.
Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol.
Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite.
But it is not an exception; there are now a large number of findings that contradict the lipid hypothesis.
To be more specific, most studies of old people have shown that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
This was the result of my search in the Medline database for studies addressing that question.
Eleven studies of old people came up with that result, and a further seven studies found that high cholesterol did not predict all-cause mortality either.
Now consider that more than 90 % of all cardiovascular disease is seen in people above age 60 and that almost all studies have found that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women.
This means that high cholesterol is only a risk factor for less than 5 % of those who die from a heart attack.
But there is more comfort for those who have high cholesterol; six of the studies found that total mortality was inversely associated with either total or LDL-cholesterol, or both.
This means that it is actually much better to have high than to have low cholesterol if you want to live to be very old.
High Cholesterol Protects Against Infection
Many studies have found that low cholesterol is in certain respects worse than high cholesterol.
For instance, in 19 large studies of more than 68,000 deaths, reviewed by Professor David R. Jacobs and his co-workers from the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.
Most gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases have an infectious origin.
Therefore, a relevant question is whether it is the infection that lowers cholesterol or the low cholesterol that predisposes to infection?
To answer this question Professor Jacobs and his group, together with Dr. Carlos Iribarren, followed more than 100,000 healthy individuals in the San Francisco area for fifteen years.
At the end of the study those who had low cholesterol at the start of the study had more often been admitted to the hospital because of an infectious disease.
This finding cannot be explained away with the argument that the infection had caused cholesterol to go down, because how could low cholesterol, recorded when these people were without any evidence of infection, be caused by a disease they had not yet encountered?
Isn´t it more likely that low cholesterol in some way made them more vulnerable to infection, or that high cholesterol protected those who did not become infected? Much evidence exists to support that interpretation.
Krumholz HM and others. Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years. Journal of the American Medical Association 272, 1335-1340, 1990.
Ravnskov U. High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Quarterly Journal of Medicine 96, 927-934, 2003.
Jacobs D and others. Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: Mortality associations. Circulation 86, 1046--1060, 1992.
Iribarren C and others. Serum total cholesterol and risk of hospitalization, and death from respiratory disease. International Journal of Epidemiology 26, 1191--1202, 1997.
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com to find practitioners thoroughly trained in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP). This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.
These are articles used with permission from some really smart influential thinkers in the fields of health, medicine, exercise, and nutrition.