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Pectin – A Natural Remedy for Leptin Resistance?

Pectin is a type of fiber that occurs naturally in fruits like sour apples, crab apples, cranberries, currants, gooseberries, lemons, loganberries and quinces. Commercially-made pectin, typically extracted from apples or citrus peels, is also used as a thickening agent for many types of jams and jellies.

Like other types of dietary fibers, pectin has been extensively researched for its health-protecting properties. In this article, we are going to focus on one property in particular: the potential of pectin to combat leptin resistance.

First Things First: What is Leptin Resistance?

Before we look at the research that has tied pectin to reduced leptin resistance, a quick introduction to leptin and leptin resistance is probably in order.

Produced by the body's fat cells, leptin is an important hormone that helps regulate the amount of energy the body stores as fat. In healthy people, an increase in food intake leads to high levels of leptin. The brain interprets the high levels of leptin as a sign that we had enough food, and that we can stop eating and storing energy as fat. In addition to regulating food intake and fat storage, leptin also has functions related to fertility and immunity.

Unfortunately, however, unhealthy dietary habits can cause leptin to malfunction, and a condition called leptin resistance may develop. In an individual with leptin resistance, leptin levels are high, but the brain mistakenly thinks that they are low and that the individual may be starving. As a result, the brain tells the body to increase food intake and store energy as fat, which in turn leads to weight gain. In addition to being tied to weight gain and obesity, leptin resistance has also been associated with conditions like metabolic syndrome, infertility, insulin resistance, psoriasis and cardiovascular disease. To reverse leptin resistance, experts like Byron J. Richards – a board certified clinical nutritionist and the author of Mastering Leptin: Your Guide to Permanent Weight Loss and Optimum Health – believe that you have to improve leptin sensitivity through diet and lifestyle changes so that your brain can once again hear the signals leptin is sending.

Pectin Supplementation is Associated with Improved Leptin Signaling, an Animal Study Shows

In an intriguing study published in the July 2015 issue of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, a group of researchers from Spain investigated whether pectin supplementation could correct age-associated disturbances in insulin and leptin actions in adult rats. The researchers discovered that pectin supplementation for one month reduced the amount of body fat and reduced insulin and leptin resistance, independent of changes in food intake. In another study, published in the Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition, pectin was found to dose-dependently inhibit the accumulation of lipids in fat cells, both in vitro and in vivo, leading the researchers to conclude that pectin may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity.


The Bottom Line

At present, research on pectin in the context of leptin resistance is still in its infancy, and further studies – especially well-designed clinical trials involving humans – are needed before any reliable conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of pectin as a natural remedy for leptin resistance. However, if you already want to give pectin a try, there are a number of foods and supplements that contain this soluble fiber – just make sure you talk to your doctor or a certified nutritionist if you are planning on making significant changes to your diet or starting a new supplement. Here's a rundown on some popular sources of pectin:

  • Apples – Apples are one of the best natural sources of pectin. According to the canning guide book Tart and Sweet, the highest levels are found in sour apples and crab apples, although also sweet apples provide a decent amount. As an added bonus, Dr. Leo Galland' famous book, The Fat Resistance Diet, lists apples as one of the top 40 superfoods that can help restore your sensitivity to leptin.
  • Some jams – Jams that use pectin as the main thickening agent also offer a rich source of pectin. Just keep in mind, many jams also contain tons of added sugar, which may counteract any potential health benefits. For recipes for low-sugar, high-pectin jams and jellies, check out the cookbook Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.
  • Pectin supplements – Apple pectin is also sold in the form of capsules on, and

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Book You May Like
Leptin Resistance Diet Book In his groundbreaking book Mastering Leptin, board certified clinical nutritionist and renowned leptin expert Byron Richards cuts through confusion about the workings of leptin and its relationship to obesity, difficulty losing weight, yo-yo dieting, low energy, food cravings and hormonal imbalance. Written in an easy-to-understand language, this science-based book is available from this page on Amazon