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Scientists and dieters alike often wish we could find that holy grail of diet research - a hunger hormone that we can control at will!

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

Of course, the mechanisms of hunger are complex and no one chemical component will ever turn out to be the silver bullet.

But work with a recently discovered hormone called ghrelin is certainly raising some new possibilities.

Ghrelin is actually produced in the stomach and plays a role in sending those 'FEED ME!' signals to the brain. After we've eaten, grhelin drops notably.

Except in people who've recently lost a lot of weight through dieting! In these folks, high levels of ghrelin continue to circulate in the blood for much longer, like marauding hunger messages seeking to undermine our diets!

That may help explain why it's so hard to maintain our weight loss.

So could we artificially REDUCE our ghrelin levels? Or for people who've lost APPETITE because of health conditions, could ghrelin levels be INCREASED to prevent them wasting away?

It's worth looking into, and scientists are.

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