Understanding The Hormones Ghrelin And Leptin That Control Weight

For anyone who wishes to lose weight or even has an academic interest in the subject should familiarize themselves with the dynamics of weight loss and weight gain and the different factors that control it.

We all know the basic principle that in order to lose weight we need to create a caloric deficit (which is basically consuming fewer calories than one expends).

But what we also know is it’s rarely that simple. For one the genes that one is born will make a difference, the kind of calories (and not just the number of calories) make a difference and hormones make a difference. The hormones govern this are leptin and ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hormone produced by the cells found in the lining of the stomach fundus. The hormone is also produced by the epsilon cells of the pancreas that stimulates hunger. The levels of ghrelin in the body are seen to increase before a meal, signifying hunger and they drop after a meal signifying satiety.

By contrast, Leptin is the hormone that signifies satiety when it is presence in higher levels. So as the levels of ghrelin drop, the levels of leptin rise; and both indicate a feeling of satisfaction or fullness.

Leptin is an adipose derived hormone, which means that Leptin is a certain protein hormone that regulates the intake of energy and its expenditure as well. Metabolism and appetite are two key areas that are governed by leptin.

The variations in the levels of ghrelin and leptin people have seem to be linked to their levels of obesity to thinness. It is because of this that certain bariatric procedures (those relating to control of obesity and allied diseases) look to adjust hormone levels in a person to produce the desired results.

For instance the levels of ghrelin are sometimes deliberately lowered in some patients so that their feelings of satiety are increased. This way they feel fuller earlier and consequently eat less.

Of course, most of us would hesitate to interfere with the hormones of body, the way they are produced and the amounts produced. Instead one would look to regulate the levels of ghrelin and leptin in the body in the most natural way possible. According to some experts, getting good, restful sleep is the key to keeping these two hormones in good balance in the body.

Getting insufficient rest or poor quality of rest can cause the hormone become imbalanced; making you feel hungry when you don’t need the food and consequently make you pack on the pounds. Getting regular, restful sleep may just be the way that you manage to lose those pounds.