The field of the obesity, hunger and weight loss It is extremely complex and each new finding agrees with the famous sentence ‘the more I learn the less I know’. When we have already internalized that ghrelin – known as hunger hormone– increases when the body asks us to eat, reaches its highest levels during nighttime sleep and decreases with intake, an international team of scientists has found that an increase in fasting ghrelin levels is associated with loss of abdominal fat and improved insulin sensitivity (that is, better control of blood glucose levels). Of course, that happens in people who have lost weight and that they follow a specific diet.
The discovery, which has been published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism’, comes from the results of a 18-month clinical study duration in a group of 294 people. The work revealed that those who followed a Mediterranean green diet, which included green tea and one vegetables small green leaf and highly protein, called mankai (that the company cultivates Hinoman), and dispensing with red meat increased their ghrelin levels twice compared to participants who followed a more traditional Mediterranean diet or a healthy and balanced diet. This result suggests that this dietary approach may have additional cardiometabolic benefits.
“The findings suggest that fasting ghrelin levels can serve as a valuable indicator of cardiometabolic health after weight loss, “says lead author Iris Shai, from Ben-Gurion Universities of the Negev, Israel and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Healthy but different diets
Shai’s team had suggested the diet green-MED (Mediterranean green) as an improved version of the healthy MED diet in the trial DIRECT PLUS. This study examined fasting ghrelin levels in 294 participants for 18 months. During the clinical trial, participants with abdominal obesity or dislipidemia (high blood cholesterol and fat) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: healthy eating, Mediterranean diet, or a green version of the Mediterranean diet (with vegetable proteins and without red meat). All the participants’ meals were monitored and they were also instructed in a training program. physical training in the gym.
People who followed the green Mediterranean diet, which included daily consumption of green tea and mankai, had fasting ghrelin levels twice as high than those who followed a traditional Mediterranean diet, despite similar calorie restriction and weight loss.
“The elevation of fasting ghrelin levels could help explain why the green Mediterranean diet optimizes the microbiome, reduces liver fat and it improves cardiometabolic health more than the other diets in our study, ”says Dr. Shai.
For him cardiologist and co-author Gal Tsaban, from Ben-Gurion Universities of the Negev and Soroka, these results highlight the importance of fasting ghrelin levels to regain insulin sensitivity and lose abdominal fat. Besides, the diet specific response in the elevation of fasting ghrelin levels may suggest another mechanism in which different dietary regimes, such as the Mediterranean green diet, reduce cardiometabolic risk “, he explains.
The study confirms, once again, the beneficial effect of a Mediterranean diet abundant in vegetables and low in saturated fat and green tea on heart and metabolic health. Ah! without forgetting physical exercise.