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The link between chronic stress and obesity

Clinical research is now showing that fat cells are sophisticated endocrine organs responsible for regulating metabolism and energy homeostasis within our bodies. One such function of these fat cells, or adipocytes, is to produce a key hormone called leptin, which through physiological processes decreases appetite and increases metabolic rate. This process signals our body to stop consuming food and stop producing insulin. In cases of obese people, leptin receptors become desensitised and can develop a resistance to leptin itself, which in turn leads to the cycle of over eating and a slowing metabolism. Furthermore, leptin resistance can lead into adrenal related feedback loops where cortisol production is increased which in turn increases more leptin, further compounding leptin resistance.

To effectively manage physiological responses to leptin resistance, therapeutic protocols that manage adrenal function and stress responses can be successfully employed. Scientific studies have identified that the herb Rhodioloa rosea can inhibit stress activated responses such as cortisol levels and anxiety. Other nutrients such as magnesium are known to be foundation nutrients when managing metabolic function and leptin resistance, and the amino acid taurine has also been shown to reduce leptin resistance decreasing glucose levels and insulin resistance.

When someone comes in to see us for help losing weight, adrenal function is something that is almost always assessed. In some cases an Adrenocortex stress profile test is recommended.

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