Ghrelin and its importance in the body
Ghrelin, often referred to as the “hunger hormone”, plays a key role in the regulation of appetite and metabolism. This hormone, produced in the stomach, signals to the brain the need for food, contributing to the feeling of hunger. It also affects the distribution and rate of energy utilisation, making it an important element for metabolic processes and weight balance.
We tell you what the micronutrient’s main purpose is and why you need a balanced nutritional programme with ghrelin in mind.
Ghrelin – what it is
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that is produced and secreted mainly by stomach cells. It is unique in that its blood levels rise before meals and drop rapidly after a meal. Ghrelin acts on the hypothalamus in the brain to stimulate appetite and promote hunger.
Functions of the hormone Ghrelin
There are a large number of functions that the hormone performs. Here are just a few of them:
- appetite regulation. Ghrelin plays a central role in stimulating appetite. When the stomach is empty, ghrelin levels rise, sending a hunger signal to the brain.
- Metabolic effects. The hormone affects metabolism by promoting fat utilisation and managing energy levels in the body.
- growth effects. Ghrelin stimulates the release of growth hormone, which is important for tissue development and regeneration.
- effect on glycaemia. The hormone can affect blood sugar levels by regulating insulin production.
You need a balanced nutritional programme that takes into account your body’s need for the hormone. This will help you to feel well and have the right appetite. Too much hormone can lead to an uncontrollable desire to eat, and a deficiency can create a situation where you do not want to eat even a little food.
How Ghrelin is produced
Ghrelin is secreted by cells in the stomach, especially when it is empty. After eating, ghrelin levels decrease because food stretches the walls of the stomach, reducing the stimulation of ghrelin production. Other factors can also affect ghrelin levels, including sleep, stress and certain pathologies.
It is extremely difficult to create a suitable menu on your own, taking into account all the peculiarities of your body. The hormone alone will require a lot of attention, and combining it with other micronutrients can be a months-long task. That is why it is easier to consult a specialist and get the right diet with a balance of all elements, vitamins and hormones.