Find out what you need to do to reduce your appetite while dieting and make it easier to tolerate a lack of fatty and sugary foods. The job of the hormone ghrelin is to signal the brain that the body needs food. The higher the concentration of this substance, the stronger our appetite. As soon as we eat food, the level of ghrelin decreases and the body begins to synthesize leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of fullness. If the balance of these substances is imbalanced, a person may suffer from anorexia or obesity. Let's find out how to lower the appetite suppressant hormone ghrelin.
What is the hormone ghrelin?
The substance is synthesized by the cellular structures of the stomach and partly the intestinal tract. In addition, the hormone is produced in minimal amounts by the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Ghrelin is able to act on special receptors that are located throughout the body. Interacting with these receptors, the process of synthesis of the enzyme protein kinase C is activated, which releases calcium from the depot and slows down the work of potassium channels.
In addition, the hormone is able to accelerate the production of somatotropin, and affects the synthesis of a number of other hormonal substances, for example, adrenocorticotropin (regulates the adrenal glands), prolactin (is responsible for the production of breast milk in women), vasopressin. The latter substance is not known to many people, but it is necessary to regulate the processes of fluid utilization by the kidneys.
Ghrelin is able to actively affect the hippocampus. Recall that this part of our brain is responsible for emotions, memory and the body's ability to adapt to environmental conditions. Also, at a high concentration, the substance can suppress the work of the reproductive system and regulate our behavioral responses.
Scientists today often talk about ghrelin in terms of a means of indicating an energy deficit. Among the main properties of the hormone, it should be noted:
- stimulation of the process of food consumption due to increased appetite;
- regulation of motor functions of the stomach and intestinal tract;
- regulation of sleep patterns;
- cardioprotective activity;
- takes part in the work of the immune system.
The effect of ghrelin on heart function
We have already noted that ghrelin receptors are found in all internal organs, including the heart muscle. This fact suggests that the hormone is capable of affecting the work of this organ. Here are the main effects of ghrelin on the heart muscle:
- Increases the release of blood, reduces the phenomenon without changing the rhythm of the heart and enhances the contractility of the myocardium.
- The hormone is able to reduce left ventricular remodeling, reduce vascular resistance, and increase the cardiac index in patients with chronic heart failure.
- Inherent cardioprotective properties, expressed in the ability to suppress cellular apoptosis.
Influence of ghrelin on the immune system
In the immune system, ghrelin receptors are found in large quantities. It is quite obvious that this fact allowed scientists to assume that the hormone has immunoregulatory abilities. Several experiments have shown that ghrelin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. For example, it can significantly slow down the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines in cellular structures. We also note that an increase in the expression of ghrelin, as well as its receptors, was recorded even in T-lymphocytes, after the process of their activation.
In animal studies, scientists have found that the hormone helps slow down inflammation in rodents. In chronic renal failure in mice, after the use of an exogenous hormone, the condition of the animals improved. Scientists are sure that the hormone ghrelin has many more interesting secrets and its research is actively continuing.
Feelings of hunger and ghrelin
Ghrelin was discovered only at the end of the last century and became the first hormonal substance that can directly affect the feeling of hunger. Recall that this is due to the effect of ghrelin on the cells of the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. The mechanism of the hormone is quite simple - when its concentration increases, the brain receives a signal about the need to eat and the appetite increases.
As we said, it was this fact that allowed scientists to regard ghrelin as an indicator of energy control. Note that the increase in hormone levels in obese people is less significant in comparison with thin people. Scientists attribute this to the body's attempts to return the body to normal weight.
Scientists have found that the concentration of a substance depends not only on the presence or absence of energy in the body. The ghrelin manufacturing process is subject to circadian fluctuations. In thin people, its concentration increases at night only when there is light. Otherwise, the synthesis of the hormone stops.
It has also been observed that the level of ghrelin rises faster in a person with chronic sleep deprivation. By and large, if you sleep a little, then the endocrine system is disrupted and this negatively affects the synthesis of all hormones. Note that ghrelin does not contribute to obesity, although it regulates our hunger. This is due to the fact that immediately after saturation, its concentration decreases.
An increase in the level of a substance is not always associated with natural physiological processes. Sometimes this can be a symptom of the development of a disease called Prader-Willi syndrome. It is a congenital ailment associated with an abnormal increase in appetite that can cause obesity. It should also be noted that this syndrome causes mental retardation, a slowdown in human growth, and a decrease in muscle tone.
Scientists have found that the concentration of ghrelin is high in people with anorexia. Let us recall that this condition is accompanied by a powerful depletion of the body and, under certain conditions, can lead to death. A similar situation with the level of the hormone of hunger is also the case for those suffering from cancer, when the body is as exhausted as possible.
Artificial influence on hormone production
Scientists have managed to create a drug that can make a person feel full. In essence, it can be called an obesity vaccine, which is used to suppress high concentrations of ghrelin. The drug is based on ingredients that stimulate the production of antibodies that break down ghrelin molecules.
As a result, the level of the hormone cannot exceed the limit after which the brain reacts to the feeling of hunger, and a person does not need to eat a lot. Scientists have conducted research on drugs that are currently used in the treatment of anorexia. As a result, it was proved that the introduction of an exogenous hormone leads to a gain in fat mass, while the muscle mass does not change.
It was also experimentally found that an artificial hormone not only stimulates food intake by increasing appetite, but also increases the duration of this process. The thing is that when using an exogenous substance, the feeling of satiety is dulled and the bangs are able to put more food into the body.
Ways to lower the hormone ghrelin to suppress appetite
If you are hungry all the time, then you are probably wondering how to lower the hormone Ghrelin to suppress appetite.As we said above, not only ghrelin, but also leptin affects the processes of food consumption. The higher the concentration of the first substance, the stronger your appetite will be. We cannot resist nature, but there are little tricks that can help you reduce your appetite.
- Eat foods that stretch your stomach as much as possible. This primarily applies to foods containing a lot of plant fiber - vegetables, seeds and whole grains. With their help, you can trigger reactions that reduce appetite, since the balance between leptin and ghrelin will shift towards the first substance. However, processed foods should be avoided, such as fine flour. This is due to the fact that they are not able to stretch the stomach and the concentration of ghrelin will not fall.
- Eat pine nuts. This product contains a lot of omega-3s. Among the large number of positive properties of these substances, one can also find the stimulation of cholecystokinin. It is a hormone that, when combined with leptin, actively suppresses appetite.
- Don't forget about omega-3s. From the previous point, you already figured out how to lower the appetite suppressant hormone Ghrelin with omega-3s. Recall that this type of fatty acids is found in marine fish, forage cabbage, as well as chia and flax seeds.
- Balance your food processing. For your body to process food efficiently, your digestive tract must be healthy. Often, problems with its work arise from an imbalance between leptin and ghrelin. To normalize the functioning of the digestive system, it is necessary to consume foods containing probiotics. These include sauerkraut and yogurt. These products have the ability to restore the microflora of the intestinal tract. Also, to solve this problem, sources of inulin should be present in your diet - bananas, onions, garlic, and leeks.
- Drink green tea. The benefits of this drink for the body are proven. Green tea contains many nutrients, including the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-galate. This substance not only effectively destroys free radicals, but also stimulates the production of cholecystokinin.
- Limit the amount of fat in your diet. If your diet is high in fat, your body will actively synthesize ghrelin. Also remember that fatty foods have a negative effect on the taste buds.
- Don't eat a lot of fructose. Now we are not talking about a sugar substitute, but the substance found in fruits. Fructose, in any form, slows down the synthesis of leptin, which increases the risk of overeating.
- Get enough sleep. Studies show that if you sleep less than seven hours a day, the concentration of leptin decreases. This is one of the reasons why chronically sleep-deprived people often overeat.
- Go in for sports. Regular moderate physical activity has a positive effect on the functioning of the digestive system.
- Beware of stress. In stressful situations, the body actively synthesizes cortisol, which in turn increases the desire to eat fatty foods. Take all measures to defeat stress in a short time!
Here are some simple yet effective guidelines for anyone wondering how to lower the hormone ghrelin to suppress appetite.
More about the effect of ghrelin hormone levels on the body in the video below: