If you have struggled to lose weight or keep it off, your hormones may be at play, according to a recent study.
The Mayo Clinic-led study found that obese teenagers have lower levels of a hormone potentially tied to weight management than teens of normal weights.
Seema Kumar, one of the study’s authors, said that the study is the first to look at levels of spexin in the pediatric population, adding “Previous research has found reduced levels of this hormone in adults with obesity. Overall, our findings suggest spexin may play a role in weight gain, beginning at an early age.”
The cross-sectional study analyzed spexin levels in 51 obese and 18 teenagers of normal weights between ages 12 and 18. The participants had blood samples taken between 2008 and 2010 as part of separate clinical trials.
“It is noteworthy that we see such clear differences in spexin levels between obese and normal weight adolescents,” Kumar noted. “Since this is a cross-sectional study, more research is needed to explore the physiological significance of spexin, how it may be involved in the development of childhood obesity, and whether it can be used to treat or manage the condition.”
The study is published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.