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“Hunger Hormone” Acts Like Fasting In Enhancing Cravings For High-Calorie Foods

June 22, 2010: 01:48 PM EST
A British study involving healthy, non-obese men and women has found that ghrelin, sometimes referred to as the “hunger hormone,” intensifies the allure of calorie-packed foods over low-calorie foods. The researchers said their findings suggest that new drugs that block the action of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger and increases food intake, might actually help reduce cravings for high-calorie foods and, in turn, help people shed pounds. Subjects looked at pictures of high-calorie and low-calorie foods on three different mornings, once after skipping breakfast and twice about 90 minutes after eating breakfast. They were injected with either a saline solution or ghrelin. The appeal of the high-calorie foods increased significantly after fasting and after the ghrelin injections, the researchers found.
Tony Goldstone, MD, PhD, et al., "Stomach Hormone Ghrelin Increases Desire for High-Calorie Foods", Presentation, Endocrine Society annual meeting, June 22, 2010, © Tony Goldstone, MD, PhD, et al.
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