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Adv Nutr. 2013 Mar 1;4(2):164-75. doi: 10.3945/an.112.003152.

Dietary components in the development of leptin resistance.

Author information

1
Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Department of Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, and Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition, New York, NY, USA. jrv1@columbia.edu

Abstract

Classically, leptin resistance has been associated with increased body fat and circulating leptin levels, and the condition is believed to contribute to the onset and/or maintenance of obesity. Although a great deal is known about the central nervous system mechanisms mediating leptin resistance, considerably less is known about the role of diet in establishing and maintaining this altered hormonal state. An exciting new finding has recently been published demonstrating the existence of leptin resistance in normal-weight rats with lean leptin levels by feeding them a high-concentration-fructose diet. This finding has opened the possibility that specific macronutrients may be capable of inducing leptin resistance, independently of the amount of body fat or circulating leptin present in the treated animals. This review describes several lines of research that have recently emerged indicating that specific types of dietary sugars and fats are capable of inducing leptin resistance in experimental rodent models. The results further show that diet-induced leptin resistance is capable of increasing energy intake and elevating body weight gain under appropriate dietary challenges. It appears that biological mechanisms on multiple levels may underlie the dietary induction of leptin resistance, including alterations in the leptin blood-to-brain transport system, in peripheral glucose metabolism, and in central leptin receptor signaling pathways. What is clear from the findings reviewed here is that diet-induced leptin resistance can occur in the absence of elevated circulating leptin levels and body weight, rendering it a potential cause and/or predisposing factor to excess body weight gain and obesity.

PMID:
23493533
PMCID:
PMC3649097
DOI:
10.3945/an.112.003152
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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