Last time, we talked about Leptin, the hormone that may decrease your appetite.

Now let’s have a look on: GHRELIN




Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, which leads to the accumulation of body fat. It’s produced in the stomach and its function is to send signals to the brain to inform that the body has to be fed.

Before eating, Ghrelin level will be increased to give signals of hunger. Three hours after the meal, the level will be decreased.

In individuals under restricted feeding schedules, Ghrelin levels will increase 1 hour prior to food presentation. Also, Ghrelin levels are usually elevated after fasting periods.

Ghrelin plays a role in obesity as well in anorexia. People suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa exhibit a high level of Ghrelin.

In general, Ghrelin acts as a body weight regulator in order to keep energy stores in check. For example, when a person loses weight, the Ghrelin level will be increased; as a result weight gain and increased food consumption will occur. But when a person gains weight, the opposite will take place: a drop in Ghrelin level followed by a decrease in food consumption and weight loss.

Ghrelin can be affected by many factors:

  • In some bariatric surgeries, the level of Ghrelin is reduced. For example, researchers found that levels of Ghrelin declined significantly after gastric bypass surgery. This may explain, in part, the decreased appetite and rapid weight loss observed following such procedures.
  • The lack of sleep is associated with high levels of Ghrelin and increased body weight



By Sarah Haydar


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