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Serum leptin measurement is used to investigate rapid changes in body weight, when the body composition is unbalanced, in cases of obesity and overweight, as well as to assess body fat metabolism.

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Leptin is a hormone produced by adipose cells and is also known as a satiety hormone due to its role in suppressing hunger, a function opposite to that of the ghrelin hormone, also known as the hunger hormone. Leptin is composed of 167 amino acids, has a molecular weight of 16 kDa, and the gene responsible for its synthesis (OB gene) is located on chromosome 7. Leptin circulates in the blood either bound to plasma proteins or in free form.

Leptin has a very important function in the body. It communicates with the brain (in the hypothalamus) and sends a specific signal about the amount of fat stored in the body in order to regulate appetite and regulate homeostasis of the body. The more fat stored in adipocytes, the more leptin is produced. Based on this information, the brain sends the appropriate signals either to increase or decrease insulin and glucocorticoid levels in the blood in order to regulate the body's metabolism and affect the amount of fat stored in the body accordingly. Because leptin is produced by fat cells, its blood levels reflect body fat levels, meaning that a person with high levels of body fat is likely to have high leptin levels in his blood.

Leptin levels vary depending on the nutritional status of the body. Eating a big meal can increase leptin levels in the blood by 40% within 12 hours, while fasting can lower leptin levels by 60-70% within 48 hours.

Although leptin reduces appetite, obese individuals generally have higher levels of leptin than normal individuals due to the higher body fat content. These people have leptin resistance, a condition similar to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, with elevated leptin levels being unable to control hunger and control weight.

Serum leptin levels decrease with age.



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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