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What is Orexin?

Orexin, also called hypocretin, is a neurotransmitter that regulates arousal, wakefulness, and appetite.

Animal models show that low levels of orexin cause obesity -even when they consume fewer calories. (R)

This is a significant factor in why consuming sugar makes us fat. When we eat sugar it causes our blood to spike in sugar. This suppresses orexin, which makes us fatigued and inactive. So instead of burning the calories, we go to sleep. (R)

GLP-1 is a gut hormone that can activate/excite orexin neurons in the hypothalamus (which increases orexin). It’s useful in making us feel satiated as well, which will make us eat less and activate orexin even more.


Sugar (both glucose and fructose) increases GLP-1 as a satiety signal, but glucose also suppresses orexin and excess fructose isn’t a good idea.


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