Eating too much fructose can induce leptin resistance, a condition that can easily lead to becoming overweight when combined with a high-fat, high-calorie diet, according to a new study with rats.
Although previous studies have shown that being leptin resistant can lead to rapid weight gain on a high-fat, high-calorie diet, this is the first study to show that leptin resistance can develop as a result of high fructose consumption.
The study also showed for the first time that leptin resistance can develop silently, that is, with little indication that it is happening.
The study, “Fructose-induced leptin resistance exacerbates weight gain in response to subsequent high-fat feeding,” was carried out by Alexandra Shapiro, Wei Mu, Carlos Roncal, Kit-Yan Cheng, Richard J. Johnson and Philip J. Scarpace, all at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.
Leptin as regulator
Leptin is a hormone that plays a role in helping the body to balance food intake with energy expenditure. When leptin isn’t working — that is, when the body no longer responds to the leptin it produces — it’s called leptin resistance.
Leptin resistance is associated with weight gain and obesity in the face of a high-fat, high-calorie diet.
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