Leptin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body, and has different functions that affect your weight and your blood pressure. The risk of high blood pressure is increased when someone is obese, so scientists are frequently conducting research to look for links between the two.
Being able to identify a link may be helpful in creating more tailored treatments for patients who are battling both obesity and high blood pressure. It may also help in preventing high blood pressure in those who are carrying around extra pounds.
What is leptin?
Leptin is produced by the fatty tissue in the body. This hormone regulates feelings of satiety, controls hunger and plays a role in obesity-related high blood pressure. It makes its way to the area of the brain associated with hunger by crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once there, it regulates the cells so that your brain can tell you how much food you should consume.
Studies show that when someone is obese, they have more leptin in their bloodstream, and their body may become resistant to its effects. This results in the body not getting good signals as to when to stop eating.
How does obesity impact blood pressure?
Obesity is directly related to causing an increase in blood pressure. In fact, when looking at high blood pressure, 28 percent of women have it due to obesity, as do 26 percent of men. Extra weight is due to having more fatty tissue in the body. This increases vascular resistance so that the heart must work harder to send blood throughout the body.
When the heart is working harder, blood pressure is increased.
Exploring the research and potential link
Until recently, scientists did not fully understand if there was a single mechanism that contributed to both obesity and high blood pressure. However, recent research shows that leptin may be the link that they were looking for. For high blood pressure associated with obesity to occur, leptin signaling is necessary.
Fat secretes leptin, so naturally, the more fat that is present in the body, the more leptin the body will secrete. As more leptin is secreted, this affects the cardiovascular system and triggers blood pressure to increase.
This link will now allow scientists to create more targeted treatments that may help to solve the issue of both obesity and high blood pressure in patients. They are exploring ways to help regulate leptin production and counteract the body releasing more leptin when excess fat is present. This could serve as a way to help a person lose weight and avoid being diagnosed with heart disease.
Of course, while the research on leptin production is still out, the healthy, natural way to weight loss has not changed since ancient times. Healthy eating, regular exercise, quality sleep and active stress reduction combined can both decrease your risk of high blood pressure and obesity – and provide you with the necessities for overall wellness.
-The Alternative Daily