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Are you OVERWEIGHT because of AMPK?

By Tucson Functional Medicine on September 6, 2021 1 Comment

A significant contributor to abdominal fat buildup is the age-related decline in AMPK, an enzyme that helps regulate fat storage.

We all have a “master switch” in our bodies. It regulates all kinds of systems in the body, like energy usage or metabolism. This master switch is called the Adenosine Monophosphate-activated Protein Kinase or AMPK.

Activated AMPK triggers beneficial effects such as a reduction in fat deposition. The marked decline in AMPK that occurs with aging results in increased fat (abdominal fat), destructive metabolic consequences (insulin resistance), and hypertension.

What AMPK does:

  • Regulates energy metabolism
  • Increases fat-burning
  • Increases the utilization of glucose while blocking fat and cholesterol synthesis

AMPK improves glucose uptake, lowers your blood sugar, increases the burning of stored fat, and decreases your blood triglycerides. In addition, it reduces fat-related chronic inflammation, which means targeting the inflammatory fat or the abdominal fat specifically. Abdominal fat has more inflammatory potential than fats in other parts of the body.

2 Factors That Decrease AMPK Activation

  • Age
  • Chronic overeating

How to Boost AMPK Activation

There are pharmaceutical, botanical, and lifestyle things that you can do to boost AMPK activation.

Metformin

Metformin is usually prescribed to Type II diabetes patients. However, it turns out that metformin activates AMPK. 

It might be beneficial for you to stay on this medication if your doctor prescribed it to you. However, like all pharmaceuticals, it has potential side effects that you should educate yourself about.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting can also activate AMPK. Fasting, not eating, activates longevity factors. When you fast, you’re improving the quality of the function of mitochondria. 

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) some studies showed that four 30s bouts of all-out cycling increased AMPK immediately following exercise

Botanicals

The following two botanicals have promised to increase/activate AMPK

Extracts of Gynostemma pentaphyllum reduced deadly abdominal fat accumulations in people with abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome.

And the citrus flavonoid hesperidin produced complementary reductions in inflammation, and improvements in blood-vessel performance, all of which help mitigate further the problems associated with abdominal fat.

Together, these two compounds provide a dual-action approach to reducing problematic abdominal fat.

** As always, check with your physician before considering taking Gynostemma pentaphyllum and hesperidin

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22576281/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29468764/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284956/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673085/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190115111944.htm

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11033-020-05900-x

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19214174/

https://www.jci.org/articles/31366

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2779044/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696539/

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.05514

https://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/51/8/2420

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28159472/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19112161/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666337619300034

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.90880.2008

 

  1. Judy Francis says:

    Thanks for this article!

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