Leptin Regulates Blood Pressure
Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Monash University, Australia, have discovered that leptin, a hormone that regulates the amount of fat stored in the body, also affects the increase in blood pressure that comes with weight gain (click here to read).
Being severely overweight can lead to the development of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Whilst a number of factors may be involved, the precise explanation for the link between these two conditions has always been unclear.
This new study showed that patients who lack the hormone leptin because of a genetic disorder, had low blood pressure despite being very heavy. This was also the case for patients lacking the leptin receptor gene, which means that even though leptin is present, they are unable to respond to the hormone appropriately.
Professor Farooqi said, "We now know that leptin regulates both our weight and our blood pressure through its action on the brain. Targeting this action could offer a useful way of helping people fight obesity and associated problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease."