Leptin and adiponectin are probably not words you’ve heard of until now.
But if you’re planning on a pregnancy anytime soon, they’re probably words you’ll want to remember.
Why? Well, your levels of these hormones and their ratio to each other (LAR) could be an important predictor of weight gain while you’ve got a bun in the oven. And too much or too little weight gain while that’s going on is a health risk!
Leptin and adiponectin play a role in regulating appetite, your resistance to insulin, blood pressure and metabolism. Low levels of adiponectin could signal a higher risk of gestational diabetes while high leptin levels could indicate pre-eclampsia. You may want to Google this stuff.
An Ohio State University study looked into what effect pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and race had on the two hormones in order to predict health issues. Researches studies 80 pregnant women (38 African American and 42 Caucasian) in early, mid, late and post pregnancy and found a significant difference.
Low levels of adiponectin (that’s potentially bad) were associated with high pre-pregnancy BMI. Comparing women with equal pre-pregnancy BMIs, African-American women had lower adiponectin levels each time they were tested compared to Caucasian women.
Low leptin levels (that’s good) were associated with lower pre-pregnancy BMIs overall.
Among African-American women with obesity, the LAR increased significantly from early to mid-pregnancy, stayed high in late pregnancy and decreased after birth. Among Caucasian women with obesity, the LAR did not change significantly over time.
So while having a healthy range BMI is always important, it’s even more so if you’re planning on being up the duff!
WORDS: Karina Eastway