In the newsNutritionUncategorized

Science Corner: As the Stomach Growls

By November 16, 2010 One Comment

Hey, Sue G here, one of Dustins Blog contributors. Time to wind up the hormone primer. I had mentioned that I was going to tell you about some newer hormones – so here we go!

Perhaps you have heard a little about Leptin and Ghrelin already. Two more hormone type players in the chain of metabolism Рfood Рmood, that exist along with players we already know: insulin and glucagon. Leptin Versus Ghrelin Рthe battle begins. While we battle with trying to do our best these are two opponents to be aware of!

Leptin is secreted into our bloodstream from our fat cells. Its action is to supress the appetite. It helps you to stop eating too much and helps keep the body temperature up so extra energy is expended. Sounds good so far right? But there is always an opponent in battle. Hello Ghrelin. This is a substance that causes the release of growth hormone from the pituitary and also has an appetite stimulating effect.

Together, they seem to work in a check and balance system. Ghrelin rises just before mealtimes, helps make you hungry and when you eat, it’s level reduces, allowing leptin to send the signal to your brain that you are full.

The bottom line? There is alot of research currently in progress, but the best thing to do is understand the complexities of hormones and try to balance what affects them so they work to to our advantage. What are some things we can do? All the things we know – and now hopefully, armed with more knowledge, these things will be easier to do! Avoid excess sugar; perform regular exercise; improve sleeping habits; eat slowly with balanced meals and snacks (let leptin send that full signal!); avoid long term (days in a row) of calorie restriction.

Happy balanced eating!