How does Hunger Hormone Ghrelin Work?
Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that is produced by an empty stomach. The bloodstream carries ghrelin to the brain. It stimulates neurons in the hypothalamus for the hunger signal. This is the reason ghrelin is also known as the “hunger hormone.” There are many other functions of ghrelin other than signaling hunger.
What is Ghrelin?
The definition of ghrelin: It is a hunger hormone produced by the empty stomach to signal hunger. Were you feeling hungry? Now you know ghrelin sends the hunger signals to your brain to start eating. Hunger hormone ghrelin has many other vital functions, too, in the body.
How Does Hunger Hormone Ghrelin Works?
Studies reveal that the ghrelin levels rise to the highest just before you start eating. When the stomach is empty, and there is no food inside, it releases the hunger hormone ghrelin. The hypothalamus in the brain is responsible for regulating the thirst, hunger, moods, and other physical functions. So when ghrelin levels reach the hypothalamus through the bloodstream, it signals hunger. (Source)
When the receptors in the brain part known as the hypothalamus interact with the ghrelin, it sends the signal to the body that there is not enough food left in the stomach, and you need to eat. That makes you feel hungry, and other significant changes start to happen in the body.
- The appetite increases: The brain sends continuous signals to eat as there is not enough food left in the stomach. Ghrelin levels decline for 1-3 hours after you eat.
- The stomach becomes more stretchable: The stomach prepares itself for the food you eat and pushes the food through the digestive tract. For all this, ghrelin increases the “gastric motility.”
- The body starts to store fat: In easy words, the body begins to use less energy to keep the energy for the adverse conditions where you cannot eat for a more extended period. This is all due to the decrease of brown fat thermogenesis & oxidation in the fat cells.
Recent studies reveal that hunger hormone ghrelin also helps to enhance heart health, regulate insulin and glucose, protect muscles and bones. It is also found that it may help to protect against cancer.
How to Change the Ghrelin Levels?
Nobody likes those hunger pangs or hunger pains, especially if they are on a weight loss diet. Though there are several benefits of ghrelin, what if you want to reduce ghrelin levels? Is it even possible to block ghrelin to reduce pain and to eat less?
Below are some results of recent studies, check them out:
- An empty stomach produces ghrelin: When the stomach is empty, it produces ghrelin, but you can eat small portions of food throughout the day to limit the production. If you are on a weight loss goal, stick to a calorie-deficit diet, or choose healthy snacks.
- Inadequate sleep can increase ghrelin: Ghrelin levels increase when you do not sleep enough. You can try to get proper sleep to block ghrelin in the body. A night of adequate sleep also helps you to produce more leptin, which helps you to eat less. Ghrelin and leptin together can help maintain the balanced eating amount. Increased leptin can work for you if you want to lose weight. (Source)
- Losing weight can increase ghrelin: Studies reveal that people who lost weight were found with elevated levels of ghrelin. Maintaining a stable and healthy weight can help decrease ghrelin levels.
- The protein-rich diet helps block ghrelin: A diet rich in protein can suppress ghrelin levels for a more extended period of time. Choose lean protein sources to build a healthy and muscular body.
Can I Use Ghrelin Blockers to Lose Weight?
It is not an ideal choice to include any dietary supplement or ghrelin blocker to regulate the ghrelin hormone. You can consume fiber-rich foods instead of these expensive supplements for the same result.
Research and studies are going on to know the effects of many hormones to control body weight. It will take years to get the exact result on how to use hormones to lose weight. You can use those traditional methods like high-intensity training, keto-diet, and low-calorie foods to maintain a healthy weight. You can hire a personal trainer, do yoga, consult an expert nutritionist for further help.
Read more: Foods I Can Eat on keto-Diet.