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Eur Endocrinol. 2015 Aug;11(2):90-95. doi: 10.17925/EE.2015.11.02.90. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

Ghrelin - Physiological Functions and Regulation.

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Senior Lecturer, Physiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, Malaysia.


Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide predominantly secreted from the stomach and stimulates appetite and growth hormone (GH) release. Studies have provided evidence that ghrelin exercises a wide range of functions, including regulation of food intake and energy metabolism, modulation of cardiovascular function, stimulation of osteoblast proliferation and bone formation and stimulation of neurogenesis and myogenesis. In the gastrointestinal system, ghrelin affects multiple functions, including secretion of gastric acid, gastric motility and pancreatic protein output. Most of these functions have been attributed to the actions of acylated ghrelin. The balance among its secretion rate, degradation rate and clearance rate determines the circulating level of ghrelin. This review explains what ghrelin is, its physiological functions and the factors that influence its level.


Ghrelin; food intake; ghrelin receptors; lipolysis; obesity; regulation

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: Mona Mohamed Ibrahim Abdalla has no conflicts of interest to declare.

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