28 April 2007

Is Leptin the Missing Link in Preventing Obesity in the Future?

Have you ever thought of an effective solution to stay fit and healthy? Or praying that someday we will survived obesity and live a normal life?
There are a lot of medications, treatments, surgical interventions, exercise regimens that has been done to maintain or to achieve the figure that we want but to no surprise few were just successful. And what about the teasing and the bullying that we get from school because we are fat and/or obese? It decreases our self esteem and destroys our body image perception.
These are the reasons why researcher are dying to discover a solution so that no child would suffer from obesity in the future. And that they would live a healthy life without experiencing the trauma that obesity may bring them.
Researchers at University of Buckingham led by Dr. Mike Cawthorn are studying about adding LEPTIN to infant formula and other food to prevent future occurrence of obesity especially those of with family history.
Leptin is a protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure. It came from the greek word leptus meaning "thin". Leptin is located in chromosome 7 in humans and produced by the adipose tissue and interacts with six types of receptors. One of the important receptors is the LepRb which is present in the hypothalamic nuclei. It binds in the Ventral Medial nucleus in the hypothalamus which is the "satiety center". When it binds in the nucleus, it signals to the brain that the body has had enough to eat. Thus, circulating leptin levels give the brain a reading of energy storage for the purposes of regulating appetite and metabolism.
In short, the more leptin, the more our body will not crave for food because it commands the brain that we have enough energy. Hmm, sound very interesting right?
The research is very young for now, they have just tried the experiment in pregnant rats and noted that offsprings did not gain too much weight and did not developed obesity as compared to untreated pregnant rats. Professor Steve O'Rahilly of clinical biochemistry and medicine at University of Cambridge said that there are several researchers who tried this to animals and eventually worked well in preventing obesity. But this needs to be firm up according to him.
How about proving its effect to human?
Now, the criticism begins, experts in chemistry and industry are skeptical with this finding due to human testing. They said it is a " wildly optimistic science fiction"
Dr Nick Finer, clinical director of the Wellcome Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, agreed. He said that the concept is exciting but scary because its a new approach of testing. It needs evidence that this will work in human.
With its extraordinary claims, " Would it be tested to newly born children?"
I don't know.
If ever this will be marketed, it would be a surprised for the experts. And a great news for the consumers and obese patients.
As of know, we have to stick on the usual and proven techniques in maintaining weight. We don't know, maybe in the near future we can see "fortified with Leptin" in labels of some infant formulas and foods.


Jerry said...

You have a very nice blog. Very well monitized I might add.


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