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Exercise may lower the levels of a “fat hormone” in the body – no matter how fat a person is. A team at the Harvard School of Public Health found that, fat or thin, men who exercised the most had lower levels of leptin in their blood.
If you get more exercise, you can lower your leptin levels, even if your BMI stays the same. BMI stands for body mass index, and is used by researchers around the world to calculate obesity. Scientists have been intrigued since the hormone leptin was discovered, and became excited when they found that injecting leptin into rats could cause them to lose weight.
Sadly, the same is not true for humans. In fact, overweight people have higher levels of leptin than lean people do, which suggests the hormone, which controls appetite in rodents, is being overproduced by the body for some reason. Five years ago, it was believed that leptin research might offer a miracle solution to obesity and the many health problems associated with being overweight.
As you get fatter, your body makes more leptin. But when you exercise, the amount of leptin in the blood decreases. Most of the time, you also lose weight, which means your risk of heart disease decreases too.
SOURCE: American Heart Association 2000
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