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Foods That Contain Leptin

By Lindsay Nixon ; Updated July 27, 2017

Leptin is a hormone produced by the body that affects body weight and metabolism. For individuals trying to lose weight, it is important that leptin levels in the body stay low. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and flax seeds will help lower leptin levels. Additionally, recent research suggests that some obese individuals do not naturally make leptin, which in turn causes their obesity.


Leptin, a hormone produced by the body, affects metabolism, reproductive function and the body's ability to regulate weight. If leptin levels are low, fat metabolism is high. On the other hand, if leptin levels are high, fat metabolism is low.

Leptin and Obesity

Leptin communicates to the brain that fat is on the body. Individuals whose bodies do not produce leptin are at risk for obesity since the brain thinks there is no fat on the body. This causes the individual to have the desire to eat more. Injections of leptin into the body of these individuals has helped with weight loss.

Foods That Decrease Leptin

The body cannot consume leptin--it must produce it. However, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as flax seeds, flax seed oil, fish oil, cod, halibut, snapper salmon, tuna and sardines can increase metabolism and lower leptin levels within the body.


Researchers at the Mayo Clinic studied two African tribes' leptin levels. One tribe ate fish regularly, and the other tribe ate primarily vegetables. The study revealed that the tribe who ate fish had leptin levels that were five times lower, which suggests eating fish is beneficial in lowering leptin levels.

Sample Meals

Not sure how to include fish in your meals? Try making fish tacos made from tuna, halibut or cod with salsa, guacamole, lettuce and tomatoes. Another option is baking fish rubbed with lemon pepper and serving it over rice with a side of asparagus.

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