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Hunger Hormones

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What are Hormones?

Organs inside the human body interact with each other with the help of chemical messengers known as hormones. There are more than 50 hormones that control a number of functions including metabolism, reproduction, growth, mood, and hunger. Hunger hormones – Leptin and Ghrelin Ghrelin – Regulates hunger by increasing appetite. Leptin – Indicates Satiety and  decreasing appetite. Ghrelin Produced by the gut, this hormone increases hunger by signaling the brain to start eating. Levels increase when fasting, and eating reduces concentrations of ghrelin. Ghrelin also plays an important role in the regulation of learning and memory, the sleep-wake cycle, taste sensation, reward behavior, and energy metabolism too. Leptin Produced by adipose tissues, this hormone signals the brain to stop eating as the body has enough energy reserves. This means, more the fat cells, more the leptin production, and vice versa. Leptin Resistance As Leptin is produced by fat cells, obese individuals tend to have higher levels of leptin circulating in their bodies. Constant exposure to high amounts of leptin sometimes leads to leptin resistance, reducing its appetite-suppressing effects.  This creates a havoc situation inside the body, making us eat more, leading to the production of more leptin, making the body fall into a vicious cycle. Conclusion Clinical diagnosis of leptin is still not clear and its underlying mechanisms are still under review. A study in rats shows that leptin sensitivity can be changed based on food selection.  Overall when it comes to hormone regulation a lot of underlying factors like sleep, hydration, nutrient intake, stress, etc also affect the hormonal functions. Slowly adapting an overall healthier lifestyle will align hormones to break through the vicious cycles that develop in excess weight conditions. References: Apolzan, J. W., & Harris, R. (2013). Rapid onset and reversal of peripheral and central leptin resistance in rats offered chow, sucrose solution, and lard. Appetite, 60(1), 65–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.020 Gruzdeva, O., Borodkina, D., Uchasova, E., Dyleva, Y., & Barbarash, O. (2019). Leptin resistance: underlying mechanisms and diagnosis. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 12, 191–198. https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S182406
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