Are you struggling with excess body fat? Do you constantly feel hungry? You may have a genetic mutation affecting your hunger hormones.
Researchers from the Texas Biomedical Institute recently discovered that an imbalance in hunger hormones can trigger excess weight gain and constant feelings of hunger. The imbalance is caused by a genetic mutation.
Leptin is the key hunger suppressing hormone. The researchers discovered that some individuals have a mutation in the gene that helps to regulate this hormone. Understanding this mutation could potentially lead medical professionals to understand why certain people deal with excess body fat. Their goal is to target metabolic disorders by looking at the mutated gene and what can go wrong when this gene isn't coded correctly for the production of leptin.
Leptin is a protein produced by the fat cells. Its main role is to signal to the brain that you have consumed enough food and that no more food is needed at that time. Some people refer to leptin as the "feel full" hormone. If you have a genetic mutation that affects leptin regulation, you may never get that feeling of fullness when eating. Another role of leptin is to control fat intake so that you don't over-consume it and then store excess fat. People who are deficient in leptin are often obese because leptin isn't signaling their brain to stop eating. Lack of leptin has them wanting more food since they often don't feel full.
There is hope for people who have this genetic mutation. Scientists developed a synthetic analogue of leptin called Metreleptin. While this is not a long-term fix for leptin resistance and leptin deficiency, it can help some people who experience extreme obesity because of this gene mutation.
For most people though, they answer is to look for the root cause. Some people are born with this genetic mutation. Others may experience a mutation in this gene due to environmental factors. Leptin resistance is common among those who have been exposed to harmful amounts of mold. Talk to your healthcare provider or functional medicine specialist if you suspect that you may have this genetic mutation. They may be able to help you treat the root cause and come up with strategies to overcome it.