How the hormone ghrelin stops you losing weight, Part 3

Written by: Brendon Groves Clinical Naturopathic Practitioner and Founder of Groves Naturopathics
September 18, 2018


Ghrelin the hunger hormoneHow the hormone ghrelin stops you losing weight , Part 3


Over the next few blogs I will be explaining hormones that sabotage  your weight loss:

  • Ghrelin: The Hunger Hormone 
  • Leptin: The Satiety Hormone
  • Insulin: Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Serotonin: Calming Hormone
  • Dopamine: The Happy Hormone
  • Cortisol: The Stress Hormone
  • Thyroxin: The Energy Hormone

What is Ghrelin?  

Ghrelin is a hormone released by the stomach when you are hungry, hence its other name “The Hunger Hormone” because it stimulates short-term appetite and balances energy levels. It encourages the orexigenic state (food-seeking behaviour). As you eat the stomach fills and ghrelin hormone levels drop, signalling anorexigenics (stop eating). 

An empty stomach stimulates the release of ghrelin which signals the pituitary gland to produce growth hormone. ghrelin is secreted by gastric cells in the stomach and promotes hunger before an expected meal, it decreases after eating, and promotes secretion of growth hormone



Research on ghrelin suggests that in obesity-related conditions one of the roles is to maintain “metabolic inflammation.” ref (1) Ghrelin comes from the Proto-Indo-European language root word ghre meaning “to grow”. Ghrelin is made up of 28-amino acid peptide discovery by Japanese’s scientists in 1999, Kojima and Kangawa ref (2)


How does Ghrelin contribute to your weight gain? 

It stimulates appetite, having a potent orexigenic effect increasing food intake and transforms the food into body fat storage. Even if you have body fat, when your stomach is empty you will get powerful hunger signals to eat from the release of ghrelin.


10 Functions of Ghrelin: 

  • Is the primary hormone that increases appetite 
  • The stomach secretes ghrelin from the gastric cells when it is empty.
  • Hormone turns off when your stomach stretches and or is full  
  • It decreases inflammation of the stomach lining and prepares for food. 
  • Growth hormone stimulation via the pituitary gland
  • Ghrelin acts on the heart and increases cardiac output and decreases blood pressure
  • It stimulates adipogenesis (transformation of food into body fat) via activation of ghrelin receptor. ref (3)
  • Ghrelin acts on receptors on lymphocytes to produce anti-inflammatory effects, including reduction of circulating cytokines.
  • Increased rate of gastric emptying increasing intestinal transit time. 
  • Termed the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite and promotes fat  storage.

Weight loss statistics 20 June 2018 Australia 


I run a weekly weight loss program either on-line or from my Brisbane clinic / rooms ask about my 1st care package or just be in touch I would love to hear from you even if its just to help you with what you’re currently doing. 

in wisdom and good health
Phone: +61 409 278 320 


In Part 4, How does Leptin Wreck Havoc with Weight Loss
How to Burn Fat and Preserve Muscle Safely with Ketogenic Diet

Are you struggling to lose weight? Then this is the video for you!

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