What is Ghrelin?

What is Ghrelin?

Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the gut. It is often termed the hunger hormone, and sometimes called lenomorelin.

It travels through your bloodstream and to your brain, where it tells your brain to become hungry and seek out food.

Ghrelin’s main function is to increase appetite. It makes you consume more food, take in more calories and store fat.

How to lower Ghrelin and reduce hunger

Ghrelin seems to be a hormone that can’t be directly controlled with drugs, diets or supplements.

However, there are a few things you can do to help maintain healthy levels:

  • Avoid weight extremes: Both obesity and anorexia alter ghrelin levels.
  • Prioritize sleep: Poor sleep increases your levels, and has been linked to increased hunger and weight gain
  • Increase muscle mass: Higher amounts of fat-free mass or muscle are associated with lower levels.
  • Eat more protein: A high-protein diet increases fullness and reduces hunger. One of the mechanisms behind this is a reduction in ghrelin levels.
  • Maintain a stable weight: Drastic weight changes and yo-yo dieting disrupt key hormones, including ghrelin.
  • Cycle your calories: Periods of higher calorie intake can reduce hunger hormones and increase leptin. One study found 2 weeks on 29–45% more calories decreased ghrelin levels by 18%

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