Effect of two fasting periods of different duration on ghrelin response to a mixed meal

Lucia Briatore, Gabriella Andraghetti, Renzo Cordera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: The inhibitory effect of food on ghrelin secretion is reduced in several eating disorders such as restricting type anorexia nervosa, bulimia and obesity. These conditions are frequently characterised by irregular distribution of meals during the day. It is unknown whether two short fasting periods different duration affect ghrelin response to a mixed meal. Aim of the present study was to examine, in healthy volunteers, the effects of two fasting periods of different duration on pre- and post-prandial ghrelin concentrations after a standard mixed meal. Methods and results: Nine healthy men (mean age ± S.E.M., 25.1 ± 0.2 years; mean body mass index ± S.E.M., 22.6 ± 0.3 kg/m2) were studied in 2 days after 12 h of fasting (12F) and 17 h of fasting (17F) with a within-subject repeated measure design. On both days they ate a standardized mixed meal. Before each meal hunger rating was evaluated with a visual analogue score. Blood samples for ghrelin, insulin, and glucose were collected at 0, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min after meal. Comparing fasting values of 17F with 12F there was a significant increase in plasma ghrelin (160 ± 20 vs. 146 ± 18 fmol/mL, P = 0.015) and hunger rating (evaluated with a visual analogue scores) (7.0 ± 0.3 vs. 5.1 ± 0.4, P <0.003). A positive correlation between fasting ghrelin and hunger rating (r = 0.52, P <0.01) was found. Circulating ghrelin decreased after both meals without any significant difference in relation with the previous length of fasting. Also postmeal ghrelin AUC as well as fasting and postmeal concentrations of insulin and glucose were similar after 12F and 17F. Conclusions: In healthy subjects a longer fasting period increases ghrelin concentration but did not affect post-prandial ghrelin response to a mixed meal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Fasting
  • Ghrelin
  • Mixed meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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