How Leptin is Connected To Insulin
Insulin levels increase within our body to some extent when we eat any kind of food. Whenever we consume simple sugars or refined carbohydrates (which are converted into sugar by the body), insulin levels rise significantly and much more quickly. Protein and complex carbohydrates in your diet help to ensure insulin levels rise in a more controlled and much slower manner.
Whenever we consume a large meal, the body responds by releasing a large amount of insulin. How much insulin is released depends upon the quantity of food ingested and more specifically, what kind of food has been eaten. Eating large amounts of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates triggers an immediate high insulin response.
Blood sugar acts as the body’s fuel, and insulin helps deliver that blood sugar to the cells in our body. For active individuals, this includes the muscle cells situated within the body. Regardless of how active you are, your brain requires a steady amount of blood sugar to function in an optimum manner. After each meal, insulin has the task of transporting sugar throughout your system, seeking out cells that need sugar in the body.
The liver can receive approximately 60% of the sugar delivered by insulin in healthy individuals. The liver acts like a storage facility for glycogen, and the blood sugar that is not immediately utilized by the body is stored in the liver as glycogen for short-term use.
The Leptin Connection
Some of the insulin released transports blood sugar to your stored fat or white adipose tissue. The fat cells absorb this blood sugar which activates your metabolism. This process produces the leptin hormone which is one of the hunger hormones. Leptin enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. The more food we consume, the more insulin we produce and the more leptin we make.
Once we have eaten enough, leptin levels become higher. A higher leptin level signals the brain that we are full, but also sends another signal to the pancreas that satiety has been achieved. This mechanism also stops the beta cells in the pancreas from producing insulin.
Those of us who eat an amount of food that complements our level of physical activity experience more controlled blood sugar since the insulin and leptin levels rise and fall appropriately and in a balanced and level manner. However, when insulin is competing with too much blood sugar and there are no cells to which the body can deposit that sugar, insulin reacts by stimulating triglyceride production. These triglycerides are stored as fat and weight gain results! Once triglycerides elevate within the bloodstream, they interfere with leptin reaching your brain and signaling you’re full.
A cycle of overeating can then occur because your brain is not receiving the correct signal that you are full, and you should stop eating. This is known as leptin resistance. Triglyceride formation is further driven by insulin, making it more likely that weight gain will continue to occur.
Exercise More and Eat Less
The old adage of “exercising more and eating less” will help get your hormones back to functioning correctly. You will burn stored fat, stimulate your metabolism and hunger mechanisms to regulate, and weight loss will be the result. Your insulin levels will also be working properly.
The moral of this story: Treat your body right, and it will take care of you!
Helping You Live Healthier in a Major Way!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC