Ghrelin Levels Increase After Pictures Showing Food

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 01/2012; 20(6):1212-7. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.385
Source: PubMed


The neuropeptide ghrelin is a major signal for food intake in various species including humans. After exogenous ghrelin administration, food intake and body weight increase in rodents. In normal human subjects, ghrelin administration increases self-rated appetite and calorie intake and prompts the imagination of favorite meals. It is unclear so far whether ghrelin levels are affected by external cues such as sight of food. We investigated the influence of pictures showing food compared to neutral pictures on ghrelin levels in young normal male subjects (n = 8). The study consisted of two consecutive sessions with a one-week interval. During each session, blood for later analysis of plasma concentrations of ghrelin was collected between 08:15 and 13:00 every 15 min (between 10:30 and 11:30 every 10 min). Breakfast and lunch was provided at 08:30 and 12:00, respectively. Fifty pictures were presented from 10:30 to 10:45 showing neutral images during the first session and food contents during the second session. As expected, ghrelin levels increased before each meal independent of the picture contents. In addition, ghrelin levels during the 30-min interval following the presentation of pictures with food increased significantly compared to the 30-min interval before this presentation (area under the curve (AUC): 188 % vs. 158 %, P < 0.05). The difference in the increases between the two picture conditions was also significant (P < 0.05). Our findings suggest that sight of food elevates ghrelin levels in healthy volunteers.

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Available from: Alexander Yassouridis, Jul 09, 2014
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    • "These food cues influence meal initiation by altering physiological responses via two distinct routes. Firstly, food cues in the environment can increase feelings of hunger (Schüssler et al., 2012). The sight and the smell of a food can activate " Cephalic Phase Responses " , these signals are initiated by the central nervous system and prepare the gastrointestinal tract for optimal processing of the expected nutrients (Smeets et al., 2010) and seem to stimulate the ingestion of large meals (Williams, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Inadequate regulation of food intake plays an important role in the development of overweight and obesity, and is under the influence of both the internal appetite control system and external environmental cues. Especially in environments where food is overly available, external cues seem to override and/or undermine internal signals, which put severe challenges on the accurate regulation of food intake. By structuring these external cues around five different phases in the food consumption process this paper aims to provide an overview of the wide range of external cues that potentially facilitate or hamper internal signals and with that influence food intake. For each of the five phases of the food consumption process, meal initiation, meal planning, consumption phase, end of eating episode and time till next meal, the most relevant internal signals are discussed and it is explained how specific external cues exert their influence.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Critical reviews in food science and nutrition
    • "grapefruit). Finally, given the validity of static pictures to induce hunger (Schüssler et al., 2012) and positive/negative moods (Mason, Light, Escher, & Drobes, 2008), the target motivational states were induced by images just before participants tasted the solutions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Preferences for and consumption of bitter foods such as vegetables and fruit are important in addressing the epidemic of obesity as healthy dietary patterns contribute to its prevention. However, few studies have been undertaken to understand the preference for bitter-tasting foods. A generally accepted but not proven explanation is that these acquired preferences involve changes in affective and motivational processes in order to overcome the innate rejection of bitter tastes. To examine this issue we compared the hedonic and incentive responses to bitter substances among bitter likers and dislikers. In addition, the effects of hunger, stress and weight concern on bitter preferences were also explored. Fifty-nine healthy adults (age = 24.8 ± 6.3; body mass index = 22.0 ± 2.8) were divided into bitter likers and bitter dislikers according to their food preferences. Both groups sampled the unreinforced flavours of coffee, beer, chocolate and grapefruit under four motivational states induced by static pictures (neutral, food, stressor and obesity) at the time of testing. The results showed that the bitter solutions elicited less aversive responses (higher hedonic ratings and less intense disgust reactions) and fewer avoidance behaviours (slower response time and lower amount of water for rinsing) in bitter likers after viewing neutral images. On the other hand, likers exhibited a further reduction in disgust to coffee after viewing stressor pictures, and also drank more water after tasting chocolate following the obesity pictures, compared with the dislikers. The expression of disgust increased in bitter likers, as well as the amount of water used to rinse the mouth, after tasting chocolate following pictures showing obesity compared with pictures showing food. These results show, for the first time, not only the implication of affective and incentive components in reversal of the predisposition to reject bitterness but also the motivational modulation of the expression of rejection of bitter tastes in humans.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Food Quality and Preference
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    • "Moreover, food anticipation affects physiological responses involved in the control of food intake. For example, external cues, such as food pictures (10) or labels providing “indulgent” information (11), elevate levels of the orexigenic hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin plays an important role in the short-term control of food intake: it stimulates meal initiation and produces a quick and robust increase in consumption (12,13). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Cognitive factors and anticipation are known to influence food intake. The current study examined the effect of anticipation and actual consumption of food on hormone (ghrelin, cortisol, and insulin) and glucose levels, appetite and ad libitum intake, to assess whether changes in hormone levels might explain the predicted differences in subsequent food intake. Design and Methods During four breakfast sessions, participants consumed a yogurt preload that was either low caloric (LC: 180 kcal/300 g) or high caloric (HC: 530 kcal/300 g) and was provided with either consistent or inconsistent calorie information (i.e., stating the caloric content of the preload was low or high). Appetite ratings and hormone and glucose levels were measured at baseline (t = 0), after providing the calorie information about the preload (t = 20), after consumption of the preload (t = 40), and just before ad libitum intake (t = 60). Results Ad libitum intake was lower after HC preloads (as compared to LC preloads; P < 0.01). Intake after LC preloads was higher when provided with (consistent) LC information (467±254 kcal) as compared to (inconsistent) HC information (346±210 kcal), but intake after the HC preloads did not depend on the information provided (LC information: 290±178 kcal, HC information: 333±179 kcal; caloric load*information P = 0.03). Hormone levels did not respond in an anticipatory manner, and the post-prandial responses depended on actual calories consumed. Conclusions These results suggest that both cognitive and physiological information determine food intake. When actual caloric intake was sufficient to produce physiological satiety, cognitive factors played no role; however, when physiological satiety was limited, cognitively induced satiety reduced intake to comparable levels.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Obesity
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