AMPK, A Key Enzymatic Factor in Weight Management, and Four Ways to Boost Its Activity

March 26, 2017

Billions have spent by Americans in search of the magic bullet for weight loss.  Yet over the last 30 years, obesity has skyrocketed.  It leaves one feeling justifiably skeptical at any weight loss claim.  I will NOT be part of the problem and say I have information that will allow you to eat whatever you want, not exercise much, and still lose weight


Even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it is difficult to keep weight off. We must expend more energy than we take in if we want to lose weight.  With all the stress most people face, the gradual  slowdown in metabolism with increased age, the temptation to “cheat” and consume rich foods and desserts, and the difficulty many people have finding time for regular exercise,   not to mention, intense exercise, it is completely understandable why folks want help losing weight. 

In this brief video, I want to introduce you to something that is a key, but under recognized factor in weight loss management.  It’s an endogenous enzyme, called AMPK.   It plays a major role in cellular homeostasis.  Why is this particular substance so interesting? 


As we grow older, our levels of this enzyme, AMPK, significantly decrease. From research so far, we see evidence that with reduced AMPK, there are a number of negative health consequences, including increased belly fat, Chronic inflammation,, Elevated blood sugar, Insulin resistance, High cholesterol and triglycerides, Decreased numbers and function of mitochondria, and Increased accumulations of abnormal or damaged proteins in our cells that lead to neurodegeneration.


In my research, I have found four ways in which a person can increase his or her AMPK activity. 


The first way is vigorous exercise. It is associated with increased AMPK activity. Yet evidence also suggests that this beneficial effect may not apply to the elderly.


The second way to increase AMPK activity is Calorie Restriction: Our cells seem to sense that they must function with greater efficiency when they are not over nourished. Nevertheless, this benefit seems to go away as soon as regular level of food consumption resumes. 


The third way is the drug Metformin: One of metformin’s most beneficial mechanisms is to activate AMPK.  Partially through activation of AMPK, Metformin lowers blood glucose.  However, If you are not diabetic, your doctor won’t prescribe it for you and even for diabetics, it can have side effects.


Finally, there is evidence that certain botanical extracts can boost AMPK activity: A few companies now market their version of an “AMPK activator,” though each company uses a different combination of substances in their proprietary formulas.  I have seen four different botanical extracts used for this purpose, The first is Berberine (which is found in several Chinese herbs as well as some Western herbs.) The second is Quercitin, which is best known for being a natural anti histamine.  Third is Gynostemma, otherwise known in China as Jiaogulan, and lastly, Trans –tiliroside, a substance derived from Rose Hips. 



In my next video, I will review the evidence for AMPK activation among these four substances and offer suggestions about how to use one or more of these substances for weight loss assistance, and in an overall approach to better health.  Till then, If you like this video, please like it and share.  Thanks for watching.

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