It is estimated that nearly 40% of adults and over 18% of children in America are obese.
And, if this only affected clothing size, that statistic wouldn’t mean anything at all. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Obesity is a precursor for many serious and even fatal illnesses.
Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, many cancers, chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more are all health risks associated with obesity.
The thing is, oftentimes obesity is a vicious cycle that is complicated by problems internally. Obesity leads to hormonal imbalances, and hormonal imbalances can lead to obesity.
But, what if there was a hormone that could actually work in favor of those struggling with excessive weight gain?
Findings from a recent study may actually prove promising in this regard!
Lipocalin-2: What It Is And How It May Help Tackle Obesity
A new study that was done in mice, humans, and non-human primates has revealed some interesting findings regarding a hormone called Lipocalin-2.
In this study, researchers found that Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) actually suppressed food intake and increased feelings of fullness in the observed subjects.
And, with obesity becoming an ever growing problem concerning the physical health of humanity, these findings may just be the needed answer in the battle against obesity.
For many battling excessive weight gain, there are problems within the body centered around the hormones that control feelings of fullness or satiety.
Leptin, for instance, is a hormone that is responsible for those feelings of fullness. This hormone is released from fat cells and communicates with the brain to tell your body to decrease food intake.
But, in many cases of obesity, the individual’s brain no longer responds to leptin, which is commonly referred to as leptin resistance.
In these instances, the normal and intended function of leptin is hindered, creating a need for greater amounts of it to achieve those feelings of satiety.
Where leptin is produced by fat cells, Lipocalin-2 is produced in bone cells.
And, while it is found naturally in the body (in both mice and humans), in this recent study it was administered to mice long term which resulted in a reduction in food intake and weight gain prevention, without slowing metabolism.
It appears that the hormone acts in a similar way to leptin, in this case specifically surrounding meal times, signaling satiety to the hypothalamus in the brain. This then results in limited food intake with those feelings of fullness, ultimately leading to weight loss.
So, of course, after seeing these findings in mice, researchers wanted to know if the same results could be true for humans.
The research team then studied four groups of people in the United States and Europe.
In these studies, individuals were given a meal after fasting overnight. The participant’s levels of Lipocalin-2 were observed pre and post meal.
Findings showed that those of normal body weight had increases in the hormone after the meal. Obese individuals, however, had decreased levels of the hormone after the same meal.
The participants at this point were then divided into two groups: responders (to the Lipocalin-2) and non-responders.
An interesting twist to note…those persons who had undergone gastric bypass surgery and lost weight, “were found to have a restored sensitivity to Lipocalin-2.”
In other words, these participants were in the group of non-responders to the hormone prior to surgery, and were then responders to LCN2 after the surgery.
Overall, the findings in this study of these four groups of people were consistent in the studies conducted on mice as well: The decrease in this hormone’s regulation after a meal is a contributor to obesity and therefore can be considered “a potential target for weight loss treatments.”
Taking it one step further, the findings in the above studies led researchers to test the use of this hormone on non-human primates, which also yielded promising results.
In their experimentation, when Lipocalin-2 was given to monkeys, within one week, a 28% reduction in food intake (compared with intake prior to administering the hormone) was seen.
The administering of this hormone was found in these monkeys to cross what is known as the “blood brain barrier” and bind to the hypothalamus to then regulate both appetite and a balance of energy.
The short term results in these monkeys mirrored the long term results in the mice studied, showing that Lipocalin-2 suppressed the intake of food, lowered body weight, and did not have any toxic side effects.
While there are other drugs and methods that have been approved for treatment in helping with weight loss, an ongoing problem in this area is the negative side effects associated with such treatments and their ineffectiveness long term.
In other words, treatment options are still needed…and Lipocalin-2 is showing great promise!
Researchers hope to continue studies in these types of animals to examine exactly how Lipocalin-2 works, how it may be administered to patients, how long it can be used, and exactly which persons would benefit most from the hormone.
Which Of These 5 Hormones UNBLOCKS Weight Loss?
Blocked hormones are affecting millions of Americans and causing what’s called “weight loss resistance”. It’s a condition where your metabolism feels like it’s stuck in a puddle of glue…and your body refuses to burn any fat…
Fortunately, when certain hormones are unclogged they can eliminate food cravings and accelerate your metabolism… helping you to lose weight AND keep it off.
Can you guess which hormone is the MOST powerful for weight loss?
Got your answer ready? See if you’re right…