Leptin supplements are concoctions that may help the body with leptin levels; they may help improve the body's use of a protein hormone called leptin, increase the body’s production of it, or actually add leptin into a person’s diet. Supplements commonly are available as pills, capsules or powders. Many people go in search of leptin supplements, expecting them to contain leptin. Most of them do not, however, as the substance is a hormone and may be subject to government prescription-drug regulation in many places. It may be possible, though, to obtain it by prescription if a doctor believes its use is necessary.
Leptin is a protein hormone that many people seek in supplement form because it has been associated with weight loss. In fact, leptin has been referred to as the obesity or starvation hormone. The protein is made in a person’s fat cells and travels through the bloodstream to the brain. It is said to let the brain know whether or not there is enough energy in a person’s fat cells. When leptin levels are high enough, the brain is said to believe there is enough stored energy to allow the body to burn calories as it normally would. If leptin levels are too low, however, the body may go into starvation mode, believing it does not have enough energy, slowing metabolism, increasing appetite, and making it harder to lose weight.
When a person buys leptin supplements, he may do so expecting to get leptin and real help losing weight. In most cases, however, he will get a supplement that contains substances said to boost leptin levels or help balance hormones in the body. Some of these supplements may help maintain overall good health or keep hormones balanced, but there is often little proof that they actually do so. Additionally, a person’s body may not even absorb and use leptin taken in supplement form. The body may simply digest it without producing any noticeable change in leptin levels.
An individual interested in taking leptin supplements may be disappointed to learn that the hormone may not significantly encourage weight loss. Some studies of this hormone have produced disappointing results. Many people have failed to lose weight, even with higher leptin levels. In fact, some people may have leptin resistance, which means their brains do not signal them to stop eating when leptin levels rise. Instead, they may continue to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight because the brain misses the cues that leptin usually provides.