In the development of obesity or when we seek to lose weight, we must consider that many hormones that circulate in our body intervene, one of great importance is the so-called ghrelin that we can regulate to reach a healthy weight .
What is ghrelin
The ghrelin , also called hunger hormone because it is decisive in the development of this feeling and the source of food cravings or appetite, is a substance of great importance in regulating body weight and energy balance.
It is the hormone opposed to leptin and therefore, its regulation depends largely on the achievement and maintenance of a healthy weight , since its alteration can generate from overweight and obesity to low weight and malnutrition as well.
It is produced in our body mainly in the stomach , although organs such as the brain glands, placenta, heart, liver and others can also express it.
It acts not only locally nervously but mainly in the brain, being able to cross the blood-brain barrier and from there, acting inhibiting the centers producing satiety and stimulating the appetite as well as the food intake .
The functions of ghrelin
Ghrelin is a complex hormone , whose different producing organs show pointing to the great variety and places of action of it.
Not only stimulates the appetite and hunger being therefore an orexigenic hormone (which favors the intake of food) but also intervenes stimulating anabolic hormones, signaling the absence of nutrients, reducing satiety and caloric expenditure .
It has short-term effects on food intake and also in the long term in the regulation of body weight, since for example it stimulates the appetite but also, favors the storage of fats, energy saving or the fall of the basal metabolism and the search for foods concentrated in calories if for example we have lost weight based on a diet restricted in calories as indicated by a study published in the Venezuelan Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism .
Although its functions related to the energy balance of the body and the regulation of weight and body fat are the most studied, ghrelin also intervenes in the immune system, in the motility and functioning of the digestive system, in bone metabolism, in memory, the dream and many other activities more associated with the survival of our body, as Mexican researchers conclude .
As we can see, it is a complex hormone of great value in the normal functioning of our body , its role being key in homeostasis or energy balance.
Strategies to achieve a healthy weight
If we know the factors that trigger an increase in the production of ghrelin as well as those that reduce its expression in the body, we can maintain controlled levels of hunger and appetite as well as promote the achievement of a healthy weight .
Some strategies that can help in this regard are:
Rest well every night
Not only getting enough sleep but also achieving quality rest is key to making our body feel like new, without stress the next day. Also, American researchers noted that insufficient rest increases ghrelin levels and reduces leptin levels, which is why adequate sleep is important to achieve a healthy weight.
Sleeping badly or little can push us by its influence on the levels of this hormone that stimulates hunger and appetite, to eat more and worse , being decisive in the possibility of gaining weight or on the contrary, lose weight.
Avoid extreme diets
The diets of very low caloric value considerably restrict food intake as well as produce a big drop weight placed on “saving mode” the body and thus stimulate the release of ghrelin who comes to tell our brain that is time to save the few calories that are consumed as well as to minimize the energy expenditure .
The ghrelin is therefore one of the responsible for the decline in metabolism that is caused by extreme diets that include very few calories, long periods of fasting or severe restrictions that do nothing but accentuate hunger and the desire to eat.
Perform exercise is always important when losing weight, not only because it helps to increase calorie expenditure, but also because it is involved in regulating hunger hormones such as ghrelin.
Its practice can encourage the release of leptin and the reduction of ghrelin in the body favoring satiety and reducing hunger, which is key to achieving a healthy weight or lose weight easily, therefore, exercise is another factor to consider to regulate ghrelin levels in the body.
Alcohol consumption is always recommended to be counterproductive for achieving an adequate weight and also to take care of health, even in small quantities . For among other things, it modifies hormones that regulate hunger and, as a study published in Physiology & Behavior points out , stimulates the appetite by favoring positive energy balance.
By reducing leptin levels and increasing ghrelin levels, alcohol increases hunger and reduces satiety , being one of the main enemies when achieving a healthy weight.
So you can regulate ghrelin levels to achieve a healthy weight by reducing the feeling of hunger and the desire to eat as well as increasing satiety and daily caloric expenditure.