Regulation of food intake : a focus on ghrelin

W.A.M. Blom

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


The number of people with (severe) overweight is increasing. More insight into the mechanism of food intake may help to develop foods for weight maintenance. There are indications that ghrelin is an important hunger signal. The role of ghrelin in the regulation of food intake was investigated in human volunteers at TNO Quality of Life in Zeist, in collaboration with the department of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University. Our studies showed that changes in ghrelin concentrations were related to changes in appetite, but these changes did not predict food intake. Suppression of ghrelin concentrations, however, did predict initiation of the next meal. Such suppression of ghrelin appears to depend on type of macronutrient and energy content of a meal. We conclude that ghrelin is a hunger signal that does not determine meal size (satiation), but that regulates next meal initiation (satiety). Foods that contain nutrients (for example dairy protein) that effectively suppress ghrelin concentrations, may help prevent overweight and obesity.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Kok, Frans, Promotor
  • Schaafsma, G., Promotor
  • Hendriks, H.F.J., Co-promotor, External person
Award date7 Dec 2005
Print ISBNs9789085042723
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2005


  • food intake
  • appetite control
  • satiety
  • hunger
  • gastrointestinal hormones


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