Leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells. By detecting the leptin in your bloodstream, your brain is able to tell when you’ve eaten enough food and have adequate fat stores. When this happens, you no longer receive “you’re hungry, better eat” signals from your brain and you stop receiving sensations of pleasure or reward from any continued eating. Leptin is very important in regulating how much we eat.
When you eat foods with glucose in them, your body is able to carry the glucose throughout your body to be used immediately as fuel. Glucose affects your leptin level and helps tell your body you’re satisfied.
Fructose is not so simple. It does not help turn on the leptin signal that you’re full to the same degree. There is also another factor. While a small amount in your diet is fine, the popularity of foods and drinks with high-fructose corn syrup (55% fructose) and table sugar (50% fructose) can force bodies to cope with a greater amount than is healthy. Because fructose has to go to your liver before it can be metabolized, an increased volume can create a traffic jam. When your liver begins to be backed up with excess fat from too much fructose, excess amounts of insulin begin to accrue in your bloodstream, leading to insulin resistance. It’s important to note that insulin resistance is not diabetes, though it can lead to it.
The extra insulin in your body caused by too much fructose interferes with your brain’s ability to detect leptin. Without receiving leptin, you stop feeling satisfied from foods and your brain continues to reward you for eating, even if you’ve already had enough. When insulin blocks leptin, overeating and erroneous hunger cravings result.
If you want a successful diet and a better rate of insulin efficiency, you need to minimize fructose intake so it doesn’t interfere with the leptin-brain connection.
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