Sugars Are One Cause of Leptin Resistance
As you know, the Venus Factor is based on the science of leptin – which is the hormone responsible for the deposition or release of fat from fat stores in your body.
A lot of information has been unearthed over the years by scientists who’ve investigated the role of the nervous system and digestion in controlling leptin resistance.
Leptin resistance is the resistance that the body may develop to “obeying” the commands that leptin naturally gives it (to burn off, fat in other words).
And one of the big problems for women who are trying to lose weight is indeed leptin resistance.
So although a lot of information has been published demonstrating how leptin resistance can be the product of the body’s own physiology, a lot less work has been done to explain how leptin resistance can be caused by our diet.
And now, research has proven that a diet high in fructose can cause leptin resistance in animals.
The significance of this may be massive for people who are trying to lose weight – because glucose-fructose syrup (or corn syrup) is one of the most common sweeteners in processed food.
What’s more, we know that fructose has a much greater impact on body than glucose.
So if fructose is responsible for causing leptin resistance in the body, this probably means we should all give up eating any food that contains a high level of fructose.
What seems to be even more important is that there are more than one culprit here – in addition to fructose, several types of dietary sugars and fats seem to be capable of inducing leptin resistance.
And that acquired leptin resistance is independent of the amount of body fat you already have or the leptin level in your bloodstream.
In other words, the food you eat really can make you fat – as well as actually stopping you from losing weight!
And to create a “perfect storm” of dietary problems, scientists have also shown that diet-induced leptin resistance can actually increase energy intake and speed up the rate at which you gain weight.
The physiology behind this is pretty complicated, but it seems clear that biological mechanisms are working on several levels in the body to produce leptin resistance which is induced by the food you eat.
This includes alterations in the leptin blood-to-brain transport system, and in the nervous system receptors for leptin.
The message for dieters is that diet induced leptin resistance is quite possible even when you haven’t got a high level of leptin in your bloodstream or even if you don’t weigh very much to start with.
Which means that diet induced leptin resistance can actually cause obesity or at the very least act as a predisposing factor to gaining weight and ultimately developing obesity.
And of course this makes the Venus Factor diet even more important, because it’s the only diet on the market which focuses on the specific issue of leptin resistance and finds ways to overcome it.
And Triglycerides Are Another
For those of you who are interested, triglycerides also appear to be a major dietary element in causing leptin resistance.
In fact, scientists have shown that high triglyceride levels in the bloodstream stop leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier, and causes defects in the way the nervous system responds to leptin.
Although the mechanism isn’t known, the effect of triglycerides was demonstrated very clearly by comparing the effect of full fat milk (the fats in milk are98% triglycerides) with fat-free milk or a vegetable source of triglycerides, which have a different chemical effect on the body.
Only triglycerides of animal origin inhibited the action of leptin.
Also, scientists have shown that starvation conditions – and also obesity induced by a high-fat and sugar diet – produce an increase in triglycerides in the bloodstream by decreasing the transport of leptin across the blood-brain barrier. (Thereby reducing the amount of leptin which can impact the nervous system.)
In this context, short-term fasting had the opposite effect – it decreased triglycerides, but whether or not this would have an effect on leptin’s efficiency in the body is not known yet.
So the conclusion scientists came to was that triglycerides are an important cause of leptin resistance, perhaps because of a survival mechanism which relates to maintaining body volume and bulk during periods of starvation.
For us, nowadays, where starvation is probably not an issue, decreasing triglycerides in our diet may make leptin more effective at releasing fat from the fat stores.
So – no fructose and no triglycerides….
And Blood Pressure Is Affected Too
Several people have emailed me to ask whether or not there’s any explanation for the adverse consequences of obesity on the circulatory system. (High blood pressure and possible heart attacks.)
Scientists now know that being overweight or obese can cause high blood pressure and it now seems that leptin has a role to play in this as well.
They have done plenty of research on diet induced obesity (in other words, to put it simply, fatness caused by eating too much, or by eating the wrong kind of foods).
What they’ve discovered seems to show that the fatty tissues of obese mice showed a much lower level of response to injections of leptin (i.e. leptin administered artificially).
However, leptin also affects the sympathetic nervous system by increasing its activity, and inducing high blood pressure.
Although the mice showed a reduced response to leptin in terms of fat loss, the leptin was still effective in increasing blood pressure in these obese animals.
So although leptin efficiency is reduced, making it harder to lose weight if you are already overweight or obese, the mechanism by which leptin produces increased blood pressure still operates: this could be one explanation for the harmful cardiovascular consequences of obesity.