Previously I explained how leptin plays a big role in body fat and man boobs.
Compared to other hormones involved in fat regulation and the development of man boobs, like estrogen, testosterone, and insulin, we know very little about leptin.
From what we know, it could be that leptin is just as important as these three hormones when it comes to losing weight and losing man boobs.
Leptin is a satiety hormone that is released by fat cells to tell your brain to stop wanting to eat so much. It kills hunger, and is supposed to make you eat less and lose weight.
When scientists first discovered leptin, they were overjoyed, they thought they could just inject this hormone into fat people to reduce their appetite and make them lean.
But they found that fat people already have high levels of leptin, and injecting extra leptin did nothing.
This is because overweight people have leptin resistance, where the hunger suppressing effects of leptin no longer work so well, and you’re left with leptin’s negative effects, which include, among other things, breast growth, growth of cancers, and inflammation.
And it’s not just fat people who have high levels of leptin and leptin resistance, studies show that people with man boobs have high levels of leptin too1.
- Normal levels of leptin are fine.
- Low levels tell your brain you are starving, and make you want to eat more.
- High levels should theoretically make you eat less, but it doesn’t actually work that well because of leptin resistance.
If you want to lose weight or lose man boobs, the best thing you can do with leptin, is to both improve leptin sensitivity and lower leptin levels back to normal levels.
When the hunger center in your brain is more sensitive to leptin, your body needs only a small amount of leptin to keep hunger at bay.
The idea is to keep leptin levels low, because leptin is not a good hormone to have high levels of in your body.
Here are some of the problems caused by high leptin levels:
- Increases aromatase activity2 (aromatase converts testosterone to estrogen).
- Reduces testosterone production by your testes3
- Is associated with insulin resistance4
- Increases inflammation5
- Promotes the spread of cancer6
- Leptin may stimulate weight loss when it acts on receptors in the hunger center in your brain, but leptin stimulates weight GAIN when it acts on receptors elsewhere7.
It seems that leptin and estrogen work together to grow man boobs, make you overweight and wreak havoc on your health.
Both hormones have similar negative actions on your health, and one hormone boosts levels of the other – leptin boosts estrogen levels and estrogen boosts leptin levels.
Heck, studies even show that women have higher levels of leptin than do men8, suggesting that leptin is more of a female hormone, like estrogen is.
And it doesn’t stop there.
It’s not a duo, but a trio, with insulin jumping in to help these bad guys too.
Insulin is the body’s most powerful fat storage hormone, and studies suggest insulin may stimulate leptin secretion9.
These are three very powerful hormones working together to keep you fat, and keep you from ever losing your man boobs.
So What Do You Do When Your Town Is Invaded By These 3 Very Powerful, Seemingly Unstoppable Foes Who Are Working Together?
You can send in the male sex hormone testosterone to help you.
Testosterone suppresses leptin levels and counteracts the effects of both leptin and estrogen, and it kicks insulin in the teeth by improving insulin sensitivity.
But the trouble here is that testosterone is handicapped big time by the enzyme aromatase, which sees to it that any excess testosterone is converted into estrogen.
It’s kind of like in the game, Age of Empires, where the enemy’s monks can convert your most powerful units onto the enemy’s side.
Or like in Game of Thrones (season 7 spoiler alert), where the Lich King converted the most powerful unit on the good guy’s side, onto the dark side.
You can try testosterone therapy, but only under the guidance of a well-experienced physician. Get it wrong, and too much exogenous testosterone can end up giving you full-on hormonal gynecomastia. Testosterone therapy is one of the most common cause of gynecomastia, and it’s all because of testosterone’s conversion to estrogen by the enzyme aromatase.
So like the Elite War Elephant walking into a blockade of enemy monks, or a dragon flying into spear-range of the Lich King, testosterone is a potential liability.
Thankfully, I Know Of Something Else That’s Designed By Nature To Counteract The Effects Of The Evil Trio Of Hormones, Leptin, Estrogen And Insulin
Unlike testosterone, this other hormone cannot be converted to the dark side by aromatase or by anything else, which means you can use it all by yourself at home, without the guidance of an experienced physician (though I would recommend still seeing a physician who's experienced in bioidentical hormone therapy for men).
It’s as powerful an asset as an Elite War Elephant in the Age of Empires, or a dragon in Game of Thrones, and yet it’s impervious to conversion by monks or by the Lich King.
What is this powerful, impervious-to-conversion, warrior?
It’s none other than natural bioidentical progesterone.
Progesterone is well-known for counteracting all of the negative effects of excess estrogen.
Progesterone is also a potent aromatase inhibitor10, meaning it’s a special unit designed to kill monks and the Lich King, thereby reducing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Though progesterone’s effects on leptin are less well studied, from the few studies there are on the topic, it seems progesterone also blocks the negative effects of leptin.
In one study6, leptin was found to increase the invasiveness of cancer cells. When progesterone was administered with leptin, the progesterone was found to suppress the leptin-induced invasiveness.
The same study found that reducing levels of progesterone lead to increased levels of leptin, which indicates that progesterone may also suppress leptin levels.
Where obese men are known to have higher levels of leptin, estrogen, and insulin, they have lower levels of progesterone and testosterone11.
On the other hand, lean people have higher levels of progesterone and testosterone, and lower levels of leptin, estrogen, and insulin.
This means that increasing your progesterone levels and decreasing your leptin levels has the potential to make you lean.
Plus by being the most perfect anti-estrogen hormone, progesterone can help you lose your man boobs too.
So The Take-Home Message Is This:
If you are fat, or you have man boobs, then your leptin levels are high, there’s no question about it, and leptin is preventing you from losing weight and preventing you from losing your man boobs.
One method you can use to help lose your man boobs, is to reduce leptin levels and improve leptin sensitivity.
One powerful and easy way you can do this, without any nasty side-effects, is to use a good natural bioidentical progesterone cream that’s designed specifically for men.
Progesterone will reduce your leptin levels, and likely also improve leptin sensitivity.
I can’t promise that progesterone alone will make your man boobs vanish, but by kicking leptin in the teeth, it will, at the very least, make losing man boobs and reducing body fat, easier, it will make it happen faster, and it will make it easier to keep the man boobs off and to keep the fat off for the rest of your life.
If you want to get started with progesterone, you can read my article about it here:
There aren’t many men’s progesterone creams on the market, and after trying a few I found that this cream works really well for guys who want to lose man boobs:
- Dundar, B., Dundar, N., Erci, T., Bober, E. & Buyukgebiz, A. Leptin levels in boys with pubertal gynecomastia. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 18, 929-934 (2005).
- Magoffin, D. A., Weitsman, S. R., Aagarwal, S. K. & Jakimiuk, A. J. Leptin regulation of aromatase activity in adipose stromal cells from regularly cycling women. Ginekol Pol 70, 1-7 (1999).
- Isidori, A. M. et al. Leptin and androgens in male obesity: evidence for leptin contribution to reduced androgen levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 84, 3673-3680, doi:10.1210/jcem.84.10.6082 (1999).
- Segal, K. R., Landt, M. & Klein, S. Relationship Between Insulin Sensitivity and Plasma Leptin Concentration in Lean and Obese Men. Diabetes 45, 988-991, doi:10.2337/diab.45.7.988 (1996).
- Martin, S. S., Qasim, A. & Reilly, M. P. Leptin resistance: a possible interface of inflammation and metabolism in obesity-related cardiovascular disease. J Am Coll Cardiol 52, 1201-1210, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.05.060 (2008).
- Jo, Y. S., Lee, G. S., Nam, S. Y. & Kim, S. J. Progesterone Inhibits Leptin-Induced Invasiveness of BeWo Cells. Int J Med Sci 12, 773-779, doi:10.7150/ijms.11610 (2015).
- Harris, R. B. Leptin-induced increase in body fat content of rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 304, E267-281, doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00251.2012 (2013).
- Kennedy, A. et al. The metabolic significance of leptin in humans: gender-based differences in relationship to adiposity, insulin sensitivity, and energy expenditure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82, 1293-1300, doi:10.1210/jcem.82.4.3859 (1997).
- Vidal, H. et al. The expression of ob gene is not acutely regulated by insulin and fasting in human abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. J Clin Invest 98, 251-255, doi:10.1172/JCI118786 (1996).
- Pasqualini, J. R. & Chetrite, G. The anti-aromatase effect of progesterone and of its natural metabolites 20alpha- and 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone in the MCF-7aro breast cancer cell line. Anticancer Res 28, 2129-2133 (2008).
- Blanchette, S., Marceau, P., Biron, S., Brochu, G. & Tchernof, A. Circulating progesterone and obesity in men. Horm Metab Res 38, 330-335, doi:10.1055/s-2006-925392 (2006).