December 17, 2018

Podcast

Rudy Leibel, M.D.: Finding the obesity gene and discovering leptin (EP.33)

"I've always felt that it was really somehow an enormous opportunity and a gift to be able to pursue this down to the level that I've been able to do in the past 30 years." —Rudy Leibel

by Peter Attia

Read Time 85 minutes

In this episode, Dr. Rudy Leibel, an expert in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Genomics at Columbia University, discusses his role in the remarkable scientific story of discovering leptin. He also gets into the genetics of obesity, as well as a broader discussion of the causes and effects of obesity, energy expenditure, and metabolism.

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We discuss:

  • Rudy’s background, interest in obesity, and trying to understand the role and impact of adipose tissue [4:15];
  • Finding the first evidence of leptin by studying obese mice [23:30];
  • Zucker rats, and the push/pull theories of obesity [34:45];
  • A breakthrough in obesity research, and closing in on leptin [45:45];
  • Understanding leptin in humans [1:03:30];
  • What Prader–Willi syndrome teaches us about body weight regulation [1:09:45];
  • Leptin and the broad condition of obesity, metabolic consequences of weight reduction, and Peter’s self-experiments [1:18:00];
  • How is appetite being regulated? [1:29:45];
  • Are there epigenetic consequences of being obese? [1:37:00];
  • What makes low-carb diets so effective at obesity reduction? [1:51:00];
  • What did Rudy believe 10 years ago that he no longer believes to be true? [2:00:00];
  • Rudy’s dream study of the FTO gene [2:02:30];
  • What the hell does insulin resistance actually mean? [2:13:15]; and
  • More.

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