This article will help educate you to make healthier lifestyle choices for looking and feeling better. I’ve applied many of these techniques through the last several years and they work for me.  It’s  written by health fitness kettlebell expert Mike Mahler. He emailed this to me as a follow up to a lecture he gave on the subject at a 2009 training workshop of his I attended. He gives out tons of great free information. I’ve learned a great deal from him over the years. There is a link to his site at the bottom of this article.

The Importance of optimizing Leptin: The CEO of all hormones

By Mike Mahler

Optimizing hormone levels is critical to good health, as you’re only as healthy as your

hormone levels. Hormones influence our moods, thought patterns, (negative and

positive) behaviors, appearance, and our ability to handle stress. To best optimize

hormone levels is to focus on the big picture, namely the big three: leptin, insulin, and

adrenaline and, of these three, leptin is the most important, since insufficient leptin

further compromises testosterone and growth hormone.

What exactly is leptin? A hormone produced by fat cells, leptin was discovered in 1994.

Leptin’s primary job is restoring fat reserves when energy (food) is consumed. This is a

biological survival mechanism to increase survival chances in case of famine. (These

days, however, the closest most people we know approach famine is their two-hour

downtime between meals!) After restoring fat reserves, leptin determines how much

energy the body needs and where it’s best spent. Leptin, in fact, leads the entire hormonal


When leptin levels drop, the brain receives a signal (from another hormone, grehlin) that

it’s time to eat. Ideally you’ll pick healthy options, e.g. high-quality foods to replenish the

brain’s neurotransmitters and refill liver and muscle glycogen.

When you eat a meal, leptin levels rise again, signaling the brain that enough calories

have been consumed and it’s time to stop eating. Insulin levels also rise with food intake

and insulin’s job is to get as much nutrition as possible into the liver and muscles. If the

muscles and liver are already full of nutrients then nutrient spillover occurs and excess

calories are stored as fat. When leptin is working properly it prevents nutrient spillover

by telling insulin to shut off after your tank is full.

When you don’t eat enough calories (or, more precisely, derive enough energy from the

food you eat) for too long a time, leptin signals the thyroid hormones to decrease

metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. In addition to slowing down fat loss, a

sluggish metabolic rate will hamper sex hormone production and anabolism in general.

Since the production of sex hormones is energy intensive, if the body isn’t receiving

adequate fuel, all stores will go to maintenance and repair before growth–and growth

means muscle tissue, among other things, and muscle maintenance and growth are your

best tools for fat loss and optimal body composition. Without adequate sex hormone

production in particular testosterone and growth hormone, you will not be able to build

muscle. The best you can hope for is skinny fat, and taking up less space on the planet

does equate to lean and healthy. Skinny fat is still poor body composition.

Neither are high levels of leptin the same as optimal levels. Ironically, overweight people

have high leptin levels, but the brain doesn’t “know” those levels are high due to a

condition called leptin resistance, wherein the satiety messages issued from leptin never

make it to the brain’s receptors, which generally results in excess calorie intake before

satiety is registered. Overeating in general, obviously results in excess calories being

stored as fat.

Hard training athletes can get way with unseemly calorie intake since their energy

demand is higher than the average person, their insulin sensitivity is high and their

muscles store and metabolize more glycogen. The average person’s insulin liver and

muscle glycogen storage is considerably more limited and further, their insulin resistance

may be compromised. Once the average person’s liver and muscle glycogen stores are

refilled, (if they were ever depleted in the first place) the rest of the meal’s energy value

goes to fat storage, to be used–ideally–another day. This is why I think post-workout,

high-carbohydrate “recovery” shakes are a mistake, at least for the average person of suboptimal

body composition (ie, too fat) who consume adequate carbohydrate throughout

the day already. Combined with less-than-optimal insulin sensitivity in the muscles, it’s a

recipe for increasing body fat.

Excessive calorie intake is the fast track to leptin resistance. Since it’s hard to eat excess

of the so-called “clean” foods, excess calories usually come from junk foods. Junk foods

may be appropriate for an elite athlete requiring prodigious calorie intake to fuel training

but you’re probably not in that category! For most people, frequent intake of fast foods

and other junk foods brings them to a bad end: leptin resistance.

Every time you eat food in excess (of energy required by the body) leptin and insulin

levels surge. The larger and more calorie dense the meal, the higher the surge and the

longer the duration. You know the rap: the excess stimulation causes the cellular

receptors to develop resistance to the continual flood of hormone. Once the receptors

become resistant, they require more stimulation (food intake) to respond with a satiety

signal. This condition, leptin resistance, is analogous to becoming a human fat storage

organism. A ignoble accomplishment compared to the heights of real human potential.

Leptin resistance leads to insulin resistance, which further locks in leptin resistance. With

insulin resistance, you no longer have insulin sensitivity. When you have insulin

sensitivity, you only need to secrete a small mount of insulin to get calories into the

muscle and liver. Your receptor uptake of insulin is strong and efficient. When you have

insulin resistance, your receptors are weak and worn out. As a result you require a much

higher insulin response from overeating to get calories into the muscles and liver. What

ever is left over which is a lot will be stored as fat. High insulin also results in an

inevitable blood sugar crash, which makes you hungry again. Thus you have an insatiable

urge to eat and the entire process starts all over again.

Leptin resistance is a serious health issue. Essentially you are over feeding your body but

the perception from your brain is that you are starving. Thus, even though you’re eating a

lot, your metabolic rate will slow down just like someone who is under eating. A slowed

down metabolic rate again slows down fat loss or brings it to a screeching halt.

Moreover, a hampered metabolic rate puts the breaks on sex hormone production. The

end result is you’re fat, tired, and have no sex drive. You do not have energy to put in

intense weight training workouts to build muscle and ramp up testosterone and growth

hormone. Even if you do get the intense workouts in you do not have the testosterone and

growth hormone production to recover from arduous workouts.

Just like many things in life, you must create an optimal hormone balance that is right for

you. This will very with each person. Just like every hormone you do not want leptin too

high or too low. You want just enough for optimal functioning. While there is a blood test

that you can do for leptin it is really not necessary. If you are overweight you have leptin


The way to get out of leptin resistance is to give your body a break. Just like we need

vacations from work, our receptors need a vacation from having to deal with large

volumes of food delivered often. The first thing you need to do is make better food


Eat a balance of protein, fat, and carbs at every meal. A good starting point is 30%

protein, 40% carbs, and 30% popularized by Barry Sears as “The Zone” diet. This won’t

be the perfect ratio for everyone–you will have to experiment to see what works best for

you–but it is a reasonable starting point. Take a page from Dr Braverman author of “The

Younger Thinner You Diet” and add spices to every meal. Spices reduce inflammation

levels and as a result help the leptin signal make it to the brain. Great choices include

turmeric, ginger, oregano, basil, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Trying to lose fat? Take a page from Byron Richard’s outstanding book Mastering

Leptin and stick to three meals a day, with five to six hours between meals. The extended

food-free meal breaks provide opportunities for the body to call on stored fat for energy.

Instead of snacks, your body will fuel itself with free fatty acids. To ensure a growth

hormone surge while sleeping each night, best to quit eating at least four hours before

bedtime. GH optimizes fat loss and muscle growth, which is all the more reason to

prioritize the recommended 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night–what could be

more hard core than aggressive sleeping? And the longer duration and greater intensity

the sleep, the better the results. So turn off GH killers, such as late night television and

Internet–and alcohol, and apply yourself to better sleeping and recovery habits.

For hard training athletes–especially those with low body fat levels–three meals a day

will probably not cut it. Four meals per day–with about four hours between meals–is

better. Still, cut off eating three hours before bedtime for best recovery from tough


Nutrition supplements also have a place in optimizing hormones. One supplement that

everyone can benefit from is magnesium. Magnesium is needed to extract energy from

food and for optimal insulin function. The more energy you extract from food the less

you have to eat to feel great. Magnesium’s benefits go on forever.

A great supplement called Quadracarn is also excellent for androgen receptor uptake and

insulin sensitivity. Quadracarn also contains Acetyl L-Carnitine which has the following

benefits (1-2 grams twice per day on an empty stomach):

· Helps clear leptin resistance in the brain by helping the brain get the signal for the real

amount of leptin

· Helps get stuck cholesterol out of brain cells for optimal cell functioning

· When taken before bed helps the release of growth hormone. GH helps drive down

excessive leptin and burns up stomach fat.

· Helps the communication process among all of the hormones

· Increases androgen receptor uptake

Other supplements that are useful for Leptin, insulin, and adrenaline resistance

1. Leucine (5gram with 3 meals for increased protein synthesis)

2. B-100 vitamins: (1-4 caps per day).

3. R-lipoic Acid (200mg 2-3x per day with food to help with insulin resistance and

shuttle nutrients into liver and muscles)

4. Resveratrol: (has been shown to turn off the obesity gene, is an anti-inflammatory,

increases uptake of stored fat for fuel, blocks conversion of testosterone into


5. Digestive Enzymes (to help you pull the most nutrition from food. 1-2 caps with

every meal:

6. Phosphatidylersine (400mg-800mg after workouts or in the evening especially if

you drink coffee or produce a lot of adrenaline)

Adrenaline Resistance And Why Fat loss Supplements Do not work in the

long Run

Pretty much all of the fat burning supplements on the market have it wrong. They often

increase toxicity and inflammation which in the long run will keep people fat and


Pretty much all fat burning supplements are stimulant based products. They jack up the

adrenaline hormones: Epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are great when

we need them and provide a serious energy and strength boost for short periods (2-15

minutes). When we are dealing with a serious stress we need these hormones to


The problem is when we jack up adrenaline hormones all of the time. When you take a

fat burning supplement you are doing just that and ultimately adding additional stress to

your mind and body. Stress in addition to whatever stresses you are dealing with in dayto-

day living. You could be on vacation with no stress but if you are taking a fat burner

supplement 2-3 times a day you are increasing stress big time as it is all about perception

by the brain.

When adrenaline hormones are ramped up constantly the end result is always adrenaline

resistance. When adrenaline is working right it sends the signal to the brain that there is

fat to burn in stubborn areas: stomach, hips, glutes. Adrenaline helps us use unwanted fat

deposits for energy. When you have adrenaline resistance the brain never gets the

message that there is plenty of energy to use in those areas. Thus, the brain thinks that

incoming calories need to be stored there. As a result adrenaline resistance causes more

fat to be stored in areas that are already loaded with stored fat. With adrenaline resistance

your receptors are worn out and your energy will plummet.

Every time adrenaline goes up cortisol has to go up to cool off the inflammation that was

created by adrenaline. Cortisol is in essence an anti-inflammatory hormone and a stress

management hormone. We need the right amount of cortisol for optimal living. The

problem occurs when cortisol goes up too often and stays up for a long time. If cortisol

goes down after dealing with the inflammation created by adrenaline no big thing. The

problem is when cortisol thinks that its job is never over due to a constant bombardment

of stress. Now cortisol is going to do whatever is necessary for you to survive such as

breaking down muscle for energy.

The end result of too much adrenaline production is too much cortisol production and that

keeps one in muscle losing and fat retaining mode. Also, energy is no longer delegated to

sex hormones as all energy is going to surviving rather than thriving. Without adequate

sex hormone production you can forget about building muscle, losing fat, and having a

zeal for life.

One of the keys to losing fat is liver health. The stronger and healthier the liver the less

stubborn fat the body holds on to (usually in the stomach in men unless they are estrogen

dominant and then it is in the ass and legs, yes like a woman).

Fat cells contain a lot of toxins (as well as estrogen receptors) and the body does not want

to release these back into the blood stream as it can harm vital organs. Especially if those

organs are already stressed from fighting toxins.

Rather than overstimulate the CNS and ramp up adrenaline hormones, it makes sense to

eat a diet that is clean and as low in toxicity as possible. Lots of organic fruits and

vegetables to load the liver up with antioxidants to fight the toxicity in fat cells.

Supplements that may be useful for fat loss are ones that help with liver health and stress

management. For the liver Milk Thistle and N-Acetyl Cysteine (200 mg of Milk Thistle

and 1 gram of NAC) and for stress management phosphatidlyserine and Korean ginseng

(PS would be my first pick at 400-800mg per day depending on amount of stress).

Magnesium and zinc are also powerful minerals that are crucial for optimal hormone

production. Magnesium in particular is very important. Every time adrenaline goes up

you deplete your reserves of magnesium. According to Dr Carolym Dean author of “The

Magnesium Miracle” experiments where adrenaline is given intravenously produce a

decrease in magnesium as well as calcium, potassium, and sodium. Without enough

magnesium to relax arteries and muscles, blood pressure rises and the heart muscle


I also think Resveratrol is a great supplement for blocking the conversion of testosterone

into estrogen and ramping up the immune system. However, the main way to block the

conversion of T into E is to get your bodyfat down and build more muscle. Proper diet

and effective strength training again should be the focus.

Proper sleep and restoration activities are also very important. Sleep is critical and

without adequate sleep (7-9 hours of deep sleep) you will not have adequate growth

hormone production. Growth hormone is critical for repair and for muscle building and

fat loss. Restoration activities such as tai-chi, yoga, chi-kung, joint mobility and meditation will all help

with stress management skills and reserves.

Now do not get caught up in the supplement recommendations in this post and miss out

on the big picture. Optimize your diet and reduce stress. Determine what is the actual

cause of stress in your life and deal with it rather than distracting yourself. Good

supplements will do nothing for your liver and stress if your diet is garbage. Diets high in

sugar and unhealthy fats load your body with toxicity. Continuing to eat junk and hoping

that supplements will save the day is like being in an abusive relationship and taking anti

depressants to deal with the stress. Deal with root causes rather than symptoms.

Also an outstanding book on Fat loss and hormone optimization is “Mastering Leptin” by

Bryon Richards. A scaled down cliff notes version of that book for the masses is “The

Leptin Diet” by Bryon Richards.

Why Hormone optimization is important

The glands in the body make hormones such as testosterone. They travel in the blood

stream and supervise the use of energy by cells. Hormones are energy managers and they

all answer to the CEO Leptin. Leptin works hard to maintain optimal hormone levels and


Our bodies use hormones to manage energy. Leptin controls the entire operation setting

the energy spending policy that is carried out by the thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones

set the pace and foundation of energy by all of the cells. Adrenaline is the main hormone

that controls energy use on a minute to minute basis.

When you energy system is in working order you wake up energetic and ready to go.

Your energy systems turn on and sustain you through out the day. Outside of regular

meals you do not need to eat for an energy boost.

Three hormonal factors in weight gain

Leptin resistance: The brain cannot sense leptin from white fat cells. As a result

metabolism slows down and calories head for storage. The pancreas cannot sense leptin

so it keeps pumping out Insulin, which ultimately causes insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance: Body has to overproduce insulin in order to drive nutrients into the

liver and muscles. The over production of insulin causes nutrient spillover and increases

levels of bodyfat. Energy extraction from food is not efficient which can make one tired

and irritable.

Adrenaline resistance: The normal nervous system signal to stimulate fat cell metabolism

is no longer received by fat cells. This causes weight gain with particular emphasis in the

stomach. Weight gain in the stomach is often associated with cardiovascular disease and

reproductive organ cancer.

Leptin and its effects on other hormones

Leptin and thyroid

Metabolic rate is largely determined by the rate of activity of the liver. Thyroid hormone

by comparison is like a gas pedal on metabolism. The liver is the engine. Leptin is in

charge of both of them. The brain based on its perception of leptin, tells the liver and

thyroid what metabolic rate to employ.

Studies show that a proper level of leptin in the brain directly sends out a message to

other areas in the brain to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. Leptin controls

the thyroid.

One’s percentage of bodyfat determines the amount of leptin. The combination of insulin

resistance and high body fat is the main factor associated with high leptin. Leptin exists

as a primary regulator of metabolic rate. When leptin resistance occurs, the body thinks it

is starving even though there is plenty of fat on hand. The liver stops converting thyroid

hormones in active thyroid hormone (T4 into T3) because of leptin resistance, the true

cause of the seeming thyroid problem.

T3 is active thyroid hormone. Normally, most T3 is made in the liver, which converts T4,

the hormone made by the thyroid gland, to T3, the metabolically active form of the

hormone. When the liver is told a starvation situation exists, it slows down metabolism

by reducing the production of T3. Researchers have shown an inverse relationship

between T3 and leptin. The primary role of the liver is to help leptin control metabolic


The conversation of T4 to T3 by the liver is slowed down by high stress. This is a natural

defense mechanism against burning up body tissues.

Too much toxicity also causes thyroid problems. When the liver cannot keep up there is a

backlog of toxins in the blood. This impedes fat loss as the body frequently tries to get rid

of extra toxins out of circulation by stuffing them into fat. A toxic person has a hard time

losing fat because the body does not want to give up the toxins in fat. Doing so will reexpose

the person to the chemicals. The liver, lymphatic, and bowel elimination systems

must be improved; then toxins can be more efficiently eliminated, the constraint on

metabolism can be removed and fat loss can proceed.

The importance of optimal thyroid hormones

The hypothalamus takes in put from leptin and then sets the energy spending parameters

for long-term plans. Thyroid hormones controls how many calories are burned for energy

when the body is at rest (basal metabolic rate).

When you diet or are in a perceived state of starvation, leptin sets a restrictive energyspending

plan and thyroid hormones enact a conservation strategy. This plan is updated

weekly as the thyroid glands make thyroid hormones that last around 7 days in the blood.

It sets the basal metabolic rate on a weekly basis. While Thyroid hormones do not

determine acute energy needs, thyroid hormones guide the use of energy over a longer

period based on the amount of nutrients that are coming in from the diet and the daily

demands for energy facing the individual.

A sign that your thyroid levels are low is when you are cold. When cells make enough

energy they make heat to keep you warm. When the pace is too slow not enough heat is

being made. Conking out when sitting down to relax in the afternoon or evening is

another sign that the thyroid levels are low.

When your thyroid is functionally optimally it enables the use of energy for all other

hormone systems. You feel focused and ready to go.

Leptin and Adrenaline Hormones

Adrenaline is the management hormone that uses energy for physical action. A burst of

adrenaline can ramp up energy production for two to fifteen minutes.

Adrenaline is made in the inner part of the adrenal glands the medulla. It is also made in

the nerves and is referred to epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Adrenaline is often referred to the fight or flight hormone. In times of stress, adrenaline

levels put the pedal to the metal for survival. In times of very high stress, adrenaline

forces cells to make as much energy as possible for survival. Adrenaline can increase the

metabolic ATP production in cells 600 times the normal resting value. While this energy

does not last very long it explains how people can perform impressive feats in an


When you are not stressed, adrenaline implements the use of energy for physical activity.

Even such simple acts as carrying a bag of groceries to the car. Adrenaline is what makes

the muscles move and contract. Without adrenaline, you will never get out of bed and

you will be too tired to do anything.

Any form of stress requires adrenaline to keep up with the demands of life such as

problem solving, emotional strain, and physical activity. The more intense the demand

the greater the amount of adrenaline necessary to manage the situation.

Too much adrenaline causes the muscles to tighten especially the shoulders. Cramps,

twitches, restless legs, and charley horses are all the result of too much adrenaline stress

as it wears down the muscles and nervous system.

When you are worn down you have frayed nerves that cannot handle adrenaline. As the

tired nerves try to use adrenaline they heat up resulting in anxiety, agitation, discomfort,

energy crashes, and overall pain in response to activity otherwise known as fibromyalgia

(fibromyalgia is essentially an allergic response to one’s own adrenaline)

Leptin uses adrenaline as a communication signal to fat cells telling them to release

stored fat to be used as fuel. As fat cells are broken down for fuel, leptin levels decline as

leptin is made from fat cells. This eventually leads to the desire to eat.

Once you eat, insulin levels rise which stimulates calories to flow back to fat and increase

leptin levels. As leptin levels rises you get a full signal and stop eating. Within several

hours of the meal leptin is stimulating the breakdown of fat by releasing adrenaline.

Some emergencies are brief and others last for a while. We need to be able to maintain

energy long enough to deal with stress. This is one reason why white adipose tissue is

stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system. Under stress white fat cells begin to

release their stores of energy so that an emergency demand can be met over a prolonged

period of time.

There are different kinds of receptors for adrenaline. For example fat around the

midsection has more of one type of receptor than fat in other areas. This is why some

people gain weight around the midsection and others gain it on the hips and thighs. When

adrenaline receptors have trouble getting the message, fat accumulates more readily in

that area of the body as the metabolic rate of those specific fat cells slows down.

Adrenaline should stimulate fat cells to release energy, which in turn should cause weight

loss. However, when adrenaline is too high too often, fat cells develop adrenaline

resistance. Not only does this block fat cells from being burned for energy it encourages

weight gain around the middle, high blood pressure, and sleep problems.

Some adrenaline is actually needed for a healthy sex drive in men and women. Too much

causes wear and tear and can kill the sex drive. The stress depletes testosterone levels,

which is critical for both men and women’s sex drives. While women can still function

well (not ideal) with a low or non-existent sex drive a compromised sex drive can be very

problematic for men. Testosterone is the essence of the survival drive in the body.

A declined sex drive means declining ATP production and compromised energy

producing systems. When you are optimal you have an increases sex drive as you are

being driven to procreate and live fully. When your sex drive is non existent you are in a

stressed state and your body has to use energy for more pressing matters.

Leptin And Insulin

Leptin resistance causes insulin resistance and both play off of each other making each

other worse.

In normal physical function, leptin and insulin have a balancing effect on food intake,

energy storage, and a stable energy level. Once leptin resistance sets in and leptin levels

are high, the pancreatic B-cells do not respond to the signal from leptin to stop making

Insulin. Insulin keeps stimulating leptin production at the same time that insulin promotes

calories to be stored as fat. The high circulating insulin causes cells throughout the body

to be resistant to insulin.

There are many leptin receptors in the pancreas. When leptin is functioning properly it

turns off Insulin providing a full signal to the brain so you stop eating.

For people that are overweight there is a lack of communication between Insulin and

leptin resulting in overeating in order to get an adequate leptin response to shut of Insulin

and send the signal to the brain that it is time to stop eating. When too much food is

consumed a high level of Insulin is produced in response to drive the sugar out of the

blood. However, if too much Insulin is produced then too much sugar is driven out of the

blood making one tired and hungry.

Eating often is bad advice for losing fat. By constantly giving yourself fuel you increase

the likelihood of nutrient spill over (calories being stored as fat) and never allow your

body to go to stored bodyfat for energy.

Many like to think that they can avoid increasing insulin by only eating fat and protein at

a meal. While the insulin response will not be as high, there is not such thing as a meal

that does not increase insulin levels. Every time you eat you turn on Insulin and insulin is

what drives the nutrients from food into the muscles and liver to replenish used up stores

and store calories for future use. Whenever you eat you take yourself out of the fat

burning zone as your body will now use the fuel that is coming in rather then stored


When triglycerides build up during the day they block the entry of leptin into the brain.

When you eat Insulin levels go up taking you out of the fat burning zone and triglycerides

go up hampering proper leptin function. When leptin levels are low in the brain you have

constant food cravings, unstable energy, poor brain function, and terrible sleep.

Leptin and Growth Hormone

GH is released by the pituitary gland and travels to the liver where it activates a variety of

hormonal signals to repair the body. The primary signal made by the liver that reflects

GH is IGF-1. IGF-1’s main role in a healthy person is to facilitate growth, repair, and cell

proliferation. It is the driving force behind building up the body and maintaining it.

GH is the prime hormone that helps an individual recover from the wear and tear of


Taking GH does not address the reason why GH is low and may cause serious health

problems. You are already out of balance with low GH and taking supplemental GH may

create a further imbalance. It can also stimulate the growth of cancer and insulin

resistance. GH causes insulin resistance because it binds to insulin receptors, clogging

their function.

The real reason why GH levels decline with age is leptin and the inflammatory signals

TNFa and Il-6 block the function of GH. The way to optimize GH is to resolve leptin

issues and reduce inflammation.

The hormone ghrelin which is secreted by the stomach to induce hunger has an intimate

relationship with GH. It binds to cells containing GH, initiating release of GH into


When a person becomes insulin resistant, then IGF-1 levels become resistant to normal

repair activity. This resistant condition causes higher circulating levels of insulin and

IGF-1. Excess and non-functioning IGF-1 will cause cancer to grow, especially breast


Higher than normal levels of IGF-1 are associated with breast, prostate, colorectal, and

lung cancer.

GH and leptin have opposing tone. When Leptin levels are high, GH levels are

correspondingly lower. Leptin’s main effect on GH is to restrict it. GH acts to lower

leptin’s activity in fat cells, which leads to a reduction in fat mass in particular stomach


Once leptin resistance sets in and there is excess circulating leptin then GH production is


Excess cortisol from stress stimulates the formation of excess fat in the stomach area.

Once GH is lacking there is no metabolic force to help reduce stomach fat and it will

keep accumulating as part of a leptin and insulin resistant picture.

During fasting GH levels rise but not because the brain is stimulating GH production. In a

fasting state the hunger hormone ghrelin promotes extra GH production.

In normal weight individuals ghrelin levels drop when food is eaten. In overweight

individuals ghrelin levels stay elevated after food is eaten, leading to excess consumption

of food. Overweight individuals have a blunted response to the correct working of


Excess inflammation turns GH production off. TNFa and IL-6 ramp up and bind to GH

receptors and turn them off.

Sleep and GH

The largest surge of GH occurs during the night. If individuals have leptin and insulin

resistance their levels of both stay too high for too long including during sleep time.

When you have Insulin resistance, GH production is depressed during the early part of

sleep. GH controls night time repair and this interferes wit the repair functions of the


Acetyl-L-Carnitine and GH

Taking ALC before bed helps the hypothalamus gland stimulate the production of GH

during sleep. It enhances GH production and also prevents hormonal depletion from

stress. ALC helps offset the effects of stress that induce sleep problems.

ALC also helps clear leptin resistance in the brain. ALC can also help the brain recognize

the real amount of leptin, which will help overcome leptin resistance.

ALC also helps with improving mood, cognitive function. ALC can also help metabolize

stuck cholesterol out of brain cells. ALC also helps with normalizing glucose function in

the brain.

ALC acts in the nervous system to promote the return of normal communication among

the hormones.

Leptin and testosterone

Too much leptin depresses testosterone. Not enough leptin causes metabolism to slow

down and this includes male function. The goal is to have the right amount of leptin.

Problems occur when hormones are out of balance. Low testosterone is associated with

weight gain around the midsection. Higher than normal estrogen causes weight gain on

the butt and thighs.

Too much leptin puts the breaks on testosterone production. A man suffering from leptin

resistance has too much leptin in his circulation which forces down his testosterone. As a

man gains weight from leptin resistance especially around the legs and glutes he will

convert testosterone into estrogen in fat cells.

Leptin resistance and depressed testosterone is reflected by weight around the midsection.

Higher estrogen that is draining testosterone is reflected weight gain in the butt and

thighs. (Healthy T to E ration is 20-40:1)

As bodyfat builds, leptin levels increase and testosterone levels decrease. When there is

lack of testosterone leptin is in appropriately elevated. High leptin levels tell the male

system not to synthesize male hormones. High male hormones suppress leptin levels.

Some amount of leptin is essential for stimulating the production of male hormones.

Leptin controls other hormones. In many situations, the fundamental role of leptin is to

permit other hormones to function. Many specific areas of the body require a certain

amount of leptin to permit metabolic function.

The idea is not to get rid of leptin as the proper leptin levels allows correct metabolic

function, including sex drive and fertility. The idea is to have the right amount of

testosterone and leptin in relation to each other.

Raising low T

Zinc is an important mineral in the formation and transport of testosterone. Marginal zinc

deficiency can reduce testosterone formation by forty percent. Serious Zinc deficiency

can reduce it by 60 percent.

Addressing anti testosterones

An enzyme called aromatase which is highly active in white adipose tissue in the lower

half of the body has an effect on deciding the fate of testosterone. It converts testosterone

into estrogen. Some of this is normal to keep ratios in balance.

When men have an excess levels of aromatase too much testosterone is converted into

estrogen. The conversion occurs due to the activity of aromatase enzymes inside fat cells.

As a man gets fatter more of the aromatase enzyme is active. Resveratrol is a powerful

inhibitor of the aromatase enzyme.

Leptin And Health Issues

Leptin and inflammation

One major goal for optimal health is to produce as little inflammation as possible (think

of inflammation as the breaking down of muscles, organs, cells). In the human body the

oil that keeps inflammation at bay is regulated by the steroid hormones in the adrenal

glands (Primarily DHEA and cortisol). Back up support comes from testosterone,

progesterone, and estrogen. All of these hormones have cholesterol as their structural

back bone. These hormones help you tolerate stress. Adrenaline is pro inflammatory and

the adrenal hormones help off set the inflammation effects of Adrenaline.

Many people get a high inflammatory response to the normal activities of their day. Some

inflammatory responses are from overuse issues such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel

syndrome while other inflammatory responses are from constant emotional and physical

wear and tear. This ongoing inflammation causes wear and tear on the lining of the

arteries and membranes of blood cells. This eventually results in cardiovascular disease

and increases risk for cancer.

The stress hormone Cortisol puts into motion an anti-inflammatory response to the

stresses of daily living. Ideally cortisol is high in the morning as it is you’re on switch

turning everything on for the day. Once cortisol fires up your metabolism, cortisol levels

start gradually declining through out the course of the day. Cortisol levels should be low

in the evening and before bedtime. Exercise in which you are refreshed and energetic

afterwards increases cortisol in conjunction with a release of beta-endorphin which is

another potent anti-inflammatory. Over exercising of course in not the to go and increases

levels of inflammation dramatically which causes a potent rise in cortisol to deal with the


During times of serious stress cortisol and adrenaline go up together. Adrenaline takes

your energy through the roof and cortisol helps deal with the increased inflammatory

response. Once the serious stress is over and adrenaline begins to decline cortisol then

takes around an hour to ninety minutes to go down. It is helping the body cool off from

the intense inflammation.

Problems occur when one is always in a stressed state. This keeps cortisol high all of the

time, which causes major problems. Common side effects are a feeling of being burned

out, poor mood, stress intolerance, sleep issues, and increases aches and pains. This

condition is widely knows as adrenal fatigue. You have produced cortisol too often and it

has stayed up for too long to the point where the adrenals are having a hard time

continuing to make cortisol. You now no longer have top of the line protection against

stress and inflammation.

High levels of cortisol ramp up levels of leptin in the fat cells. This creates a surpus of

leptin and leptin resistance, which causes fat gain. DHEA normally helps block this

process. However, DHEA levels go down, as you get older and from continued stress.

Omega 3 fatty acids (flax oil, Udo’s oil, fish oil) are very important for supporting the

stress management team (cortisol, DHEA, and other sex hormones). Cells have an

enhanced ability to tolerate friction and inflammation when cell membranes have higher

concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids. Unhealthy fats such as those from fried fats, trans

fats, vegetable oils, are more likely to cause cells to become inflamed.

Cells need antioxidants inside of them to defend against inflammation. When cells run

low on antioxidants they die and once they are gone they are gone for good. This is why

excess inflammation is one of the major causes for all diseases of aging. You are

basically accelerating the aging process when you have high levels of inflammation.

Societies that have diets that are focused on fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains,

have much less inflammation and thus disease compared to societies where junk food is

the focus.

The adrenals need some level of stress for healthy functioning. High levels of cortisol can

even enhance the creative functioning of the brain. When you are feeling creative and in

the zone you generally being fueled by cortisol.

It is the excess levels of stress that cause major problems. Stress management programs

are very important for overall health. Some examples include, weekly massages, daily

meditation, doing tai chi, joint mobility or chi-kung several times per week, and deep breathing

exercises. Dealing with emotional repression and other underlying issues is also very


Too much cortisol ruins the immune system and contributes to the malfunctioning of

leptin, which makes people fat.

Leptin and cholesterol

The liver is the primary metabolic factory on cholesterol production in the body. The

liver will make cholesterol even if very little comes from the diet. Stain drugs lower

cholesterol by hampering the liver’s ability to make cholesterol. However, the real

question is why is your cholesterol high in the first place? One answer is that you have

leptin resistance. Leptin resistance causes an improper signal to the liver, telling the liver

to make extra cholesterol. Once leptin resistance is addressed then the liver no longer gets

the signal to over produce cholesterol. Low levels of leptin also slows down thyroid

function and a hampered thyroid does not clear cholesterol efficiently.

Eating strategy for burning fat

Three to four hours after a meal Insulin levels go down as it has done its job to feed the

muscles and liver. When insulin levels drop the pancreas gets the signal to produce the

hormone Glucagon in order to bring blood sugar levels back up for normal functioning.

Glucagons communicates with the liver to release stored sugar (stored as glycogen) to be

converted into glucose to keep blood sugar levels optimal.

Your body is getting a snack in between meals from the stored calories in the liver. Thus

no need to eat snacks in between meals to keep blood sugar up. 60% of fuel will come

from the liver and the other 40% from fatty acids. Triglycerides are not broken down

from white adipose tissue for fuel. This continues until the next meal and is your bodies

fat burning time. You want to take advantage of it often by eating infrequently. The

longer you are in this state the more fat you will burn.

Start by eating no more than three meals per day with at least six hours in between each

meal. You can even go to two meals such as breakfast and dinner. Long stretches keep

Insulin levels low and thus Triglyceride levels low allowing leptin to function optimally

in the brain.

Start the day with a high protein meal. A high protein meal can increase the metabolism

by thirty percent for up to 12 hours. This is the equivalent of a 2-3 mile jog (or 10 minute

snatch set). A high carb breakfast only boots metabolism by four percent and ramps

insulin big time. If you cannot for 5-6 hours without eating after a meal you did not have

enough protein. You had too many carbohydrates and not enough protein and fat.

Get all carbohydrates from fruits and veggies only. Each serving is a powerful

antioxidant boost and contains carbohydrates loaded with fiber, vitamins, and mineral.

Have 20-40% of calories from fat as fat takes longer to leave the stomach and will keep

you feeling content for much longer.

Fat burning and sleep

By avoiding eating four to five hours prior to sleep you will burn 60% fatty acids (stored

bodyfat from the stomach, hips, and thighs) and 40% sugar from the liver during the last

three to four hours of sleep. This will not occur if you eat before you sleep and you will

blow yet another fat burning zone.

Exercise and optimizing Leptin

Exercise improves insulin resistance. Exercise significantly enhances the ability of

insulin to transport glucose into the muscles so that the calories can be used for energy.

When muscles are depleted of fuel there is a demand to replenish the diminished supply.

These effects can last up to 48 hours so it is advisable to put in at least 3-4 workouts per

week to allow for optimal utilization of the foods that are consumed.

During the first fifteen minutes of exercise, stored sugar in the muscles, called glycogen,

is the primary fuel that is used. The depletion of glycogen caused the muscled to demand

more fuel which helps with insulin resistance.

As exercise progresses beyond twenty minutes, glucose and free fatty acids from the

blood become the primary fuel. This helps clear stagnant calories out of circulating

blood. During this time the adrenal glands begin secreting higher levels of hormones,

working with the liver to sustain energy for exercise.

Recent studies show that resistance training lowers bodyfat and leptin. This reduction of

bodyfat and leptin enables insulin to function correctly, so that there is no insulin

resistance in the muscles.

Leptin and stomach fat

The key to understanding weight loss is getting leptin to work properly. Properly working

leptin permits fat burning to occur. Leptin controls the rate of fat burning in the liver,

muscles, pancreas, and heart.

In leptin resistance there is a slowdown of fat metabolism in the liver. This leads to extra

bodyfat since fat cannot be burned as fuel.

Once fat utilization is disturbed carbohydrates also turn into fat. Insulin resistance thus is

a side effect of leptin resistance. As long as leptin resistance is present, carbs are likely to

turn into fat due to the body’s inability to burn fat.

White adipose tissue contains immune cells that in overweight people crank out

inflammatory signals: TNFa and IL-6 become active twenty-four hours a day and seven

days a week. Thus, not only do overweight people have to do deal with the stress of life,

they have to deal with the stress of highly inflammatory immune signals being generated

by the extra pounds of fat they carry.

Changing the kind of fat in the diet can change these inflammatory signals and help stop

insulin resistance. Omega 3 oils can reduce the production of TNFa and IL-6 from white

adipose tissue. Individuals in inflammatory states such as arthritis can reduce their

inflammation signals by as much as 90 percent with Omega 3 oils.

Omega 3 oils also help reduce insulin resistance by enhancing glucose utilization. Omega

3 oils help the muscles use and store glucose. In order to get rid of leptin resistance,

glucose metabolism must work adequately. This is why very low carbohydrate diets do

not work in the long run.

Omega 3 oils can reduce pro inflammatory immune cell activity by up to 60% in four


Pantethine: a special form of Vitamin B5 (much more biologically active than regular

Vitamin B5) transports fat into metabolic action big time. It has also been shown to lower

LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and make blood less

sticky. A study shows that 600mg per day for size month lowers abdominal fat without

any side effects.

Excess levels of the gene signal agouti is directly related to excess abdominal fat. The

more overweight a person is the higher the higher the levels of agouti. A high dose of

calcium can cool off the agouti gene and stop many food cravings. Energy will also go up

and midsection bodyfat will go down. Calcium AEP and coral calcium. 2000-3000

miligrams may be needed.

Fat burning and sleep

By avoiding eating four to five hours prior to sleep you will burn 60% fatty acids (stored

bodyfat from the stomach, hips, and thighs) and 40% sugar from the liver during the last

three to four hours of sleep. This will not occur if you eat before you sleep and you will

blow yet another fat burning zone.

During the night your body gradually begins to burn a higher portion of fat for fuel. Nine

hours after dinner the food that you have eaten during the day and for dinner has been

used up and now you have to go to stored bodyfat. Nine to twelve hours after having

dinner are prime fat burning hours. Best of all the stored bodyfat that is being used for

energy is coming from the stomach, butt, and thighs.

To read more articles from Mike visit WWW.MIKEMAHLER.COM

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