Low Carb Diet Effect on Hunger Hormones – Grehlin and CCK

Low Carb Diet Effect on Hunger Hormones – Grehlin and CCK

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Low Carb Diet Effect on Hunger Hormones – Grehlin and CCK – Thomas DeLauer

Fats Slow Gastric Emptying

Upon entering your stomach, fats stimulate the release of cholecystokinin, or CCK, from the cells that line your duodenum, which is the first segment of your small intestine – stimulates contraction of your gallbladder and delays gastric emptying

In other words, CCK is released after you eat; its main purpose is to tell your brain that you are full – acts as a short-term indicator of your fullness

Specifically, it is secreted from mucosal epithelial cells of the small intestine (duodenum), and stimulates the release of digestive enzymes and bile from the pancreas and gallbladder, respectively

It is also produced by neurons in the enteric nervous system, and is distributed in the brain

There are two main reasons regarding CCK’s ability to induce satiety:

One is that meal-induced secretion of cholecystokinin activates the satiety centre of the hypothalamus in the brain so that the person feels full and stops eating (mediates satiety by acting on the CCK receptors distributed throughout the CNS)

A second reason is that, because cholecystokinin inhibits emptying of the stomach, the sensation of satiety may be the result of distension of the stomach

Keto & Ghrelin

Ghrelin is a peptide hormone produced by ghrelinergic cells in the gastrointestinal tract, which functions as a neuropeptide in the central nervous system – it acts on hypothalamic brain cells both to increase hunger, and to increase gastric acid secretion

It’s released from your stomach and intestines and whenever you eat a meal, ghrelin drops in response to nutrients circulating in your blood, when the stomach is empty, ghrelin is secreted


A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at hormonal alterations associated with weight loss induced by a ketogenic diet

The study included 39 non-diabetic overweight or obese subjects who completed an 8-week keto diet, followed by 2 weeks of reintroduction of foods


There was an increase in ketones, which was to be expected, but the rise in ketones was accompanied with a suppression of the increase in ghrelin that’s normally seen with weight loss (ketones increased, ghrelin was suppressed)

After refeeding, fasting and postprandial ghrelin concentrations rose significantly


Fibrous Veggies

The carbs you should be consuming on keto come in the form of fibrous vegetables, which have a satiating effect as well

Fiber is a special type of carb in that the body cannot break it down into its simple sugar molecules
Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water and it helps move foods through your digestive tract by bulking up your stools and making them softer, and easier to pass

Soluble fiber can dissolve in water, and in the prescience of water it forms a gel, which slows down the digestive process by delaying the emptying of your stomach contents – makes your feel fuller, longer, and this delay helps stabilize blood sugar levels


~15-20% of your calories will be coming in the form of protein, which protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin


Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a incretin – an incretin is a hormone that reduces glucose levels in blood.

GLP-1 delays the speed of digesting food – in this way, GLP-1 reduces the speed of glucose intake, making it easy for body to maintain blood sugar level right after a meal until the next meal


1) Cholecystokinin. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/gi/cck.html
2) Why Do I Lose Weight In Ketosis? – mindbodygreen. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/a-doctor-on-why-ketosis-helps-you-lose-weight
3) Effect of weight loss and ketosis on postprandial cholecystokinin and free fatty acid concentrations. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469245?dopt=Abstract&holding=npg
4) Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23632752
5) Effect of beta-hydroxybutyrate on whole-body leucine kinetics and fractional mixed skeletal muscle protein synthesis in humans. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC303494/
6) Sumithran P , et al. (n.d.). Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23632752

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