Optimal Result: 0.3 - 13.4 ng/mL.

Reference Ranges for Leptin:

Adult Lean Subjects (18-71 years) with BMI range of 18-25:


0.3-13.4 ng/mL


4.7-23.7 ng/mL

Adult Subjects (19-60 years) with BMI range of 25-30:


1.8-19.9 ng/mL


8.0-38.9 ng/mL

Pediatric Reference Ranges for Leptin:

5-9.9 years:

0.6-16.8 ng/mL

10-13.9 years:

1.4-16.5 ng/mL

14-17.9 years:

0.6-24.9 ng/mL

- This test measures the amount of leptin in your blood.

- This test is used to figure out how much body fat you have.

- This test can also be used to assess infertility and look at people with delayed puberty.

Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate your body weight by controlling your appetite and energy level.

Generally, the amount of leptin in your blood is related to the amount of fat tissue in your body. Leptin is released into your blood by your fat stores. Its main job is to tell your brain to stop eating. Researchers believe some people may have leptin in their body, but it doesn't signal to the brain that they are full. Or their brain is resistant to the signal, so they keep eating.

Obesity is a serious condition that can cause a number of life-threatening diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.

Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone essential for normal body weight regulation. Production is under neuroendocrine control such that blood levels vary directly with the amount of triglyceride stored in adipose tissue depots; there is a negative correlation between leptin and testosterone blood levels.

Leptin acts through specific receptors in the hypothalamus to modulate appetite and thermogenesis; increased levels suppress appetite and increase thermogenesis. Leptin deficiency leads to hypopituitarism including gonadotropin, growth hormone, and thyroid deficiencies. Gene mutations resulting in leptin deficiency or leptin receptor defects lead to massive obesity.

What does it mean if your Leptin result is too low?

There is an extremely rare condition called congenital leptin deficiency, which is a genetic condition in which the body cannot produce leptin. 

Absence of leptin makes the body think it does not have any fat whatsoever and this results in uncontrolled food intake and severe childhood obesity. In addition, leptin deficiency may cause delayed puberty and poor function of the immune system. This condition can be well treated by leptin injections, which cause dramatic weight loss.

What does it mean if your Leptin result is too high?

Obese people have unusually high levels of leptin. This is because in some obese people, the brain does not respond to leptin, so they keep eating despite adequate (or excessive) fat stores, a concept known as ‘leptin resistance’. This causes the fat cells to produce even more leptin. This is similar to the way people with type 2 diabetes have unusually high levels of insulin, as their body is resistant to the effects of insulin. The cause of leptin resistance is still unclear.

- Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. 

- The amount of leptin in your body varies from day to day, so more research is needed to understand how to use the lab values from this test.

- In general, amounts of leptin are higher in women than in men. Levels go down as you age. 

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