What is Ghrelin?

definition of terms


Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone produced in the stomach and pancreas that influences hunger levels.


  • Ghrelin communicates hunger signals to the brain, increasing before meals and decreasing after eating.
  • It promotes fat storage and weight gain if calorie intake chronically exceeds expenditure.
  • Fasting and dieting boosts ghrelin, making weight loss harder. Managing ghrelin is key to maintaining energy balance.
  • Getting adequate sleep, protein, and fiber helps control ghrelin hunger signals. Stabilizing blood sugar also suppresses ghrelin.


  • That hungry feeling when it’s close to lunchtime as ghrelin rises.
  • Nighttime hunger and cravings as ghrelin peaks before bed.

Related Terms

  • Hunger hormone, orexigenic hormone, appetite regulation

Common Questions

  • How can I lower ghrelin? Eat sufficient calories and protein, get 7-9 hours of sleep, and manage stress.
  • Will exercise lower my ghrelin levels? Yes, high intensity exercise helps control appetite by reducing ghrelin.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Leptin – The satiety hormone that decreases appetite.
  • Adiponectin – A hormone that regulates glucose and fat metabolism.
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