Postprandial ghrelin is elevated in black compared with white women

Kimberly A. Brownley, Kathleen C. Light, Karen M. Grewen, Edith E. Bragdon, Alan L. Hinderliter, Sheila G. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Ghrelin, a gut-brain peptide that signals hunger, is normally suppressed after meals. Subnormal suppression of postprandial ghrelin, previously noted in obese, insulin-resistant individuals, may contribute to increased food intake. Given the ethnic disparities in obesity and obesity-related cardiovascular morbidity in the United States, the present study compared a single postprandial ghrelin measure in 43 women (22 white, 21 black). Each completed a rigorously controlled 4-d dietary intervention designed to maintain weight and constant daily sodium and potassium intake (220 mEq Na, 40 mEq K). Two hours after consuming a test meal of identical content, blood samples were drawn to assess postprandial ghrelin, leptin, and norepinephrine; resting cardiovascular function was measured; and a 24-h urinary cortisol sample was obtained. Independent of body mass index, postprandial ghrelin was significantly higher in black vs. white women, and higher ghrelin was associated with higher cortisol in blacks, who failed to show the expected inverse relation between ghrelin and central obesity seen in whites. Higher ghrelin was correlated with higher blood pressure but lower norepinephrine in obese women. These findings suggest subnormal postprandial ghrelin suppression (or faster ghrelin rebound) in black women, especially the obese, that might play a role in their increased prevalence of obesity and cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4457-4463
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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