Hormones that help the body regulate appetite
The body has a very complex endocrine system, with hormones interlinking and working together in a way that is far more complicated than the London Underground system!
There is hope that there may be a slimming pill on the market and to date there have been some attempts. However these have been withdrawn after time due to health risks that have become associated with them. New hormones and interactions are constantly being discovered making it a complicated process.
One hormone may be discovered to affect certain levels of appetite regulation and a breakthrough is announced – only for it to be discovered that there are other hormones and other stimulus that are interacting and working together to a different degree. There are many inter connecting pathways and internal switches that can be changed by differing levels of hormone present.
The hypothalamus, found in the brain, is the centre for appetite regulation. It has been noted that there are three phases of eating:
Satiation (when we know we are full)
Different hormones are responsible for these different phases, for example it is understood that a hormone called CKK is released from the small intestine and affects satiation, as does Peptide YY , thus telling us we are full and to stop eating. Grehlin on the other hand stimulates hunger and encourages us to eat! In fact Grehlin has been called the `hormone of hunger! ’ It is Grehlin that sends signals to the brain telling us we are hungry whilst we are fasting, thus encouraging us to eat more!
Leptin is a hormone that is being carefully researched at the moment to fully understand the possible links between itself and obesity. Those people who are within a healthy weight range will respond to signals by leptin regarding their energy status, and can react accordingly. However for those people who are outside the healthy weight range, the body has seen to been leptin resistance, it has been seen that in over weight people their levels of leptin are far higher than slimmer people. This means that the body has plenty of leptin in the body, but it is not recognised and rather than suppressing the appetite, the appetite is increased.
The hormones themselves may be found in carrying sites including the adipose tissue and in the small intestine. Often there may be varying sites of the one hormone or they are made at one site and work at another.
There are a many other hormones that are responsible for appetite regulation. Some examples are: Insulin, NPY, CKK, Adipopectin, GLP-1, PYY, Orexins, Norepinephrine and Cortisol to name but a few.
Research is constantly being carried out to discover more. Grehlin is a relatively new and exciting hormone, there is new research taking place which is making it a very much talked about hormone. There have been links with stress and why we may eat more and a recent study looked at foods that we feel are `naughty` foods and our grehlin levels.
Also, thanks much for infor regarding hunger.