PCOS Review Newsletter #121
Leptin Resistance: One of the Evil Twins of PCOS
In The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility e-book, we talk extensively about the "Evil Twins" that cause you so much trouble (see chapter 16.2). These Twins are insulin resistance and leptin resistance.
You've probably heard about insulin resistance, which is thought to be the primary cause of polycystic ovary syndrome. But have you heard about leptin resistance, which is implicated in many problems associated with PCOS?
Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells. Leptin interacts with your hypothalamus gland in your brain. The hypothalamus is the "control center" for maintaining your energy balance, that is, how fat or lean you are. Leptin keeps your hypothalamus informed about the status of the energy stores in your body.
Defects in either insulin or leptin signaling in the central nervous system and brain result in overeating, disturbed blood sugar balance, reproductive dysfunction and weight gain.
An example of reproductive dysfunction is leptin's interaction with luteinizing hormone (LH). A normal pulsation of LH is required if you are to be fertile. However, in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, this pulsation is insufficient or absent. There is some research evidence to indicate that leptin may one of the factors that regulates LH. In this case, if you want to ovulate, you may need to normalize your leptin.
Women with PCOS have been shown to have disordered leptin function.
For many reasons, it's super-important to normalize your leptin.
How might you do that?
Leptin is influenced by diet, genetics, gender, amount of fat weight and a substantial number of other hormones.
You can improve your leptin balance by switching to a healthier diet, and getting more exercise.
In particular, sugars and certain fats can cause problems for optimal leptin function. For example, a diet high in saturated fats and low in unsaturated fats impairs leptin function.
Refined carbohydrates and sweeteners such as fructose are problematic.
In general, a diet like the one in the diet e-book will help you to optimize leptin function.
Secondly, animal studies have shown that exercise can reduce leptin resistance.
If you can get your leptin under control, and lose some fat weight in the process, you are that much closer to a normal cycle, improved fertility, better appetite control as well as many other health benefits.
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