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Gut Hormones

Appetite control

Brain Gut Connection


Short-term appetite control - the Gut-Brain Connection

  • These hormones are not concerned about how overweight or underweight you are and are not involved in long-term body composition signaling such as leptin, these hormones are involved in much more transient moment-to-moment feedback to the brain about food intake and satiety (fullness).
  • The complexity of this important gut-brain connection is being unravelled slowly by science and new pharmaceuticals are being designed to take advantage of how these hormones work in the fight against obesity and diabetes.


  • Ghrelin is a potent appetite stimulating hormone produced predominantly by P/D1 cells that line  the fundus of the human stomach and also by the epsilon cells of the pancreas and the arcuate nucleus in the hypothalamus.
  • If you are hungry, ghrelin levels increase and there is a strong hunger signal.
  • When food enters the stomach and intestines it is the distention of the stomach as well as the macronutrient content of food that influence the release of gut hormones.
  • Oral glucose has been shown to decrease ghrelin levels but there have been conflicting studies on the effect of fat and protein on ghrelin secretion10.
  • Ghrelin is an appetite stimulating hormone
  • CCK, GLP-1 and PYY are appetite reducing hormones and these hormones are called anorexigenic gut hormones.

  • When ghrelin increases to increase appetite, CCK, GLP-1 and PYY all decrease
  • When ghrelin decreases, CCK, GLP-1 and PYY all appetite-reducing hormones start to increase

Protein at breakfast - effect on Ghrelin

  • Although there has been some conflicting studies on the effect of protein on ghrelin, timing of protein intake may be the important consideration.
  • One study looked at a high-protein (HP) versus a high-carbohydrate (HC) breakfast and found that a high protein breakfast significantly decreased ghrelin secretion over time compared to the HC breakfast and the protein also increased CCK and GLP-111.

The NutriDesk Diets

  • Have been highly successful as 100's of patients have found out as these diets always stress that protein should be consumed always at breakfast.
  • We also know that protein decreases the energy intake of the next meal helping to decrease weight12.

Link to Hormone and Hormone Metabolite References

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Hormones and Metabolites References