Leptin Most Popular

The Leptin test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Description: Leptin is a hormone that the body uses to monitor your appetite. When leptin is being produced it is telling your body that it is full, and you do not need to continue eating. Leptin can also control the amount of energy that is burnt throughout the day.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Leptin test ordered?

Leptin is typically ordered during clinical investigations to further investigate leptin's role.

Leptin testing is rarely requested outside of research, however it may be requested when a child is diagnosed as fat, particularly if there is a family history of early-onset obesity.

When analyzing an obese person, some doctors may conduct a leptin test to see if they have a deficiency or an excess of the hormone.

What does a Leptin blood test check for?

Leptin is a hormone that signals hunger satisfaction and helps to regulate appetite. This test detects a leptin shortage that may be linked to obesity by measuring the quantity of leptin in the blood.

Leptin is largely produced by fat cells, with minor contributions from other tissues such as the placenta in pregnant women. It travels via the brain's hypothalamus via blood receptors. When enough food has been ingested, the body signals that it is no longer hungry. A low amount of leptin induces hunger and an increase in food consumption in a typical feedback response. Hunger decreases and food consumption decreases as leptin levels rise due to an increase in fat cells.

As the body seeks to defend itself from perceived underfeeding, insufficient leptin can produce persistent hunger. Rare hereditary leptin deficits can lead to severe obesity, resulting in persistent hunger and eating that begins in childhood. Leptin replacement therapy has been demonstrated to help some of persons who are impacted.

Elevated leptin levels are most typically linked to obesity. This is hypothesized to be caused by leptin resistance, which is comparable to the insulin resistance found in obesity. People who are impacted are resistant to leptin's activity, and they continue to feel hungry even after eating enough food. In an attempt to compensate for the perceived hunger, the body continues to create more leptin. However, it is estimated that roughly 10% of obese people have some level of leptin insufficiency.

The relationship between leptin and obesity has piqued researchers' interest. Obesity is a major public health concern in the United States because it raises the risk of a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, dyslipidemias, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnea, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Obesity has consistently climbed in all age groups over the last 20 years, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one-third of adults and 17% of adolescents and teens in the United States are obese. The body mass index, or BMI, is used to classify people.

According to a new study, a leptin level may be more accurate than the standard body mass index in determining how much excess fat a person carries in some people. The higher the level of leptin in a person's system, the more fat tissue they have. This was notably evident in the study with older women and those with strong muscles or solid bones, where the BMI score could be deceiving.

The study of leptin's functions in the body, as well as the relationships between leptin and obesity and successful weight loss, is ongoing. There's also a lot of curiosity about whether a leptin-based medication could help obese people who are also leptin deficient.

Lab tests often ordered with a Leptin test:

  • Lipid Panel
  • Thyroid Panel
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Insulin
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where a Leptin test is recommended:

  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Addison Disease
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Thyroid Diseases
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Heart Disease
  • Malnutrition

How does my health care provider use a Leptin test?

The leptin test is not commonly ordered, and its utility in medical settings is still unknown. As the role of leptin is examined further, most testing is still done in a laboratory context.

A leptin test is most likely to be ordered on an obese child in a clinical environment, especially if there is a family history of early-onset obesity. It's commonly ordered on an obese person with frequent, persistent hunger symptoms to see if they have a leptin shortage or excess.

The test may be done in conjunction with other tests, such as a lipid profile, thyroid panel, glucose, insulin, and/or A1c, to assess an obese person's health status and detect underlying issues that are contributing to or exacerbating their situation.

What do my Leptin test results mean?

Reduced leptin levels in the obese may indicate a deficiency, whilst increasing concentrations are thought to be linked to resistance to leptin's actions. The majority of obese persons will have elevated levels, but about 10% of them may have a leptin shortage.

Significantly lower leptin levels may signal a hereditary leptin deficit associated to extreme obesity in rare cases.

Leptin secretion has a circadian pattern, which means that its concentration in the blood varies throughout a 24-hour period.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.


*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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