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Leptin is an important hormone found in the bodies of many animals. Leptin regulates or allows animals to control how much energy their bodies take in and how much energy their bodies use. More specifically, leptin controls appetite and metabolism. This means it is one of the hormones that controls how much an animal feels the need to eat and how much the body 'burns' or uses food for energy.
Leptin was recently discovered in 1994 by Jeffrey M. Friedman, who was a man who studied genetics in New York City at Rockefeller University. Its discovery is important in the study of obesity which has become a problem in Western society. The importance of Leptin for this cause was discovered through many experiments performed on mice in a laboratory. Scientists found that mice who had more Leptin in their bodies were thinner and didn't need to eat as much. Leptin levels can be increased by reducing stress and having quality or restful sleep.