Nature Is Better

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

When I was in medical school, they never told me about the hormone leptin. They didn’t even know it existed.

Then the medical community widely accepted the view that leptin was a new potential avenue to control obesity because it would stop your hunger. Some even went as far as suggesting that we should give everyone who was overweight a leptin injection.

Now we find out it’s not what we thought it was. Leptin should control hunger. But when you gain too much weight you become leptin resistant. Your brain will then ignore leptin’s signals. Giving people more leptin will only make it worse.

It just goes to show how little we know, and how things keep changing.

But we’ve always presumed that what we know now is the end of the game. We are taught information as if it’s whole and factual, as if we know what we’re talking about.

Then in the future, we look back and say, “Boy, we sure didn’t know what we were talking about. It’s a good thing we know now.”

Years from now, we’ll look back and do the same thing again. It never ends.

It’s what I’ve seen my entire life. What does it tell you? That we can’t trust science? That we’re not making any progress? That no one knows anything?

No… what it does is give us humility. We should be humble about our state of knowledge.

And it’s what has given me this small pearl of wisdom: Nature is better until proven otherwise.

Just because we discovered the hormone leptin, don’t think that we can do better than nature. “Let’s give everyone a shot of leptin, because we’re smarter than nature. Nature has screwed up and we’re going to fix it.”

Meanwhile, we always find

out something else that we didn’t know at that time. Like the fact that you can’t just give people shots of leptin.

We’re better off trying to mimic nature, to imitate what happens naturally – because we don’t yet fully understand it.

Yet we keep trying to find substitutes for nature.

They told us margarine was better for us than butter. They gave us all the reasons why… the saturated fat in butter is bad for you, so you have to consume this unnatural polyunsaturated fat from vegetable oil.

And it made things worse.

We haven’t even been able to find a substitute for sugar. And that’s a pursuit that’s been going on for 120 years. Every time we come up with one it turns out to be worse than sugar.

Now scientists have focused on a way to “cure” obesity, and they singled out leptin.

Leptin tells your brain to send out two signals: One, to shut down your hunger because you’re full. Two, to tell your body it doesn’t need much fat, and to burn off the excess as energy.

But modern diet advice recommends everyone load up on starches, and stay away from meat and eggs, our main sources of protein and nutrition for the entire course of human existence.

That will signal your body to store fat. If that happens, the messages leptin carries to your brain start getting mixed up.

Leptin normally binds to “leptin receptors.” But more fat cells increase inflammation. That makes the liver produce a protein called CRP. And CRP binds to leptin, stops it from reaching its receptors, and blocks its signals.1

More leptin starts to build up because fat cells are trying to get the “I’m full” signal to the brain. But there’s so much, eventually the brain stops listening.

That is called leptin resistance. And it’s one reason why you may feel hungry all the time, and may not melt fat naturally.

And it’s not just too much leptin that messes up the signals. A brand new study looked at women who have very little body fat. They have a lack of leptin. This can cause their monthly cycles to stop, and can trigger infertility, low bone density and osteoporosis.2

Fortunately, nature has provided us with a way to keep your hormones from getting their signals crossed. And it doesn’t involve any injections or drugs.

I found an herb from deep in the forests of West Africa that studies show lets you keep your leptin levels normal. You can use it to maintain a healthy body weight and your natural fat melting ability.

It’s the herb irvingia gabonensis. Also called bush mango, Irvingia comes from the forests of Africa and helps leptin work normally. All parts of the irvingia tree are used as medicine in West Africa. They also eat the fruit and seeds, and have very little if any obesity there.

Because of its remarkable effect on weight reduction, scientists tested the effects of irvingia on leptin levels.

One study measured the effect of irvingia on fat cells. They injected the cells with irvingia and found that the herb significantly reduced leptin production, and leptin levels. Those given the most irvingia cut their leptin levels by over 60 percent in just 12 to 24 hours.3

The latest irvingia study looked at 100 people taking an extract of the seed for 10 weeks. Researchers found that they had improved levels of almost every metabolic measurement you can take where body fat is concerned. But astonishingly, irvingia dropped leptin by 49%, and knocked down CRP by 52 percent!

Irvingia gabonensis seeds have lots of protein, healthy fats and minerals, and are generally good for your digestive system. Irvingia is also an antioxidant. In one study, its antioxidant power topped a list of 14 other herbs and spices from the same area of Africa.4

There are places you can buy ripe Irvingia gabonensis fruit. You can also get dried fruit and seeds. But remember that only the seed extract reduced leptin in the studies.

The studies gave people up to 350 mg per day. But for improving body weight and leptin function, I recommend 150 mg a day of irvingia seed extract.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD signature

Al Sears, MD

1 Chen, Ke, et al, “Induction of leptin resistance through direct interaction of C-reactive protein with leptin,” Nature Medicine 2006;12,425-432
2 Choua, Sharon H. et al, “Leptin is an effective treatment for hypothalamic amenorrhea,” April 4, 2011
3 Oben, Julius, Ngondi, Judith, Blum, Kenneth, “Inhibition of Irvingia gabonensis seed extract (OB131) on adipogenesis as mediated via down regulation of the PPARgamma and Leptin genes and up-regulation of the adiponectin gene,” Lipids Health Dis. 2008;7:44
4 Agbor, G.A., Oben, J.E., Ngogang, J.Y., et al, “Antioxidant capacity of some herbs/spices from cameroon: a comparative study of two methods,” J. Agric. Food Chem. Aug. 24, 2005;53(17):6819-24