AMPK and Metabolic Health

iStock-1160789077An apple a day keeps the doctor away, at least according to a new study  that shows apple polyphenols increase the activity of 5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Activation of AMPK may be a good way to lose weight, balance lipoproteins, and support healthy blood sugar.

AMPK is a highly conserved sensor of adenosine nucleotide levels. Basically, it monitors energy, and is activated when ATP production decreases. Because AMPK inhibits fatty acid synthesis and increases fatty acid catabolism, researchers are investigating it as a possible pathway for weight loss. AMPK also inhibits HMG Co-A reductase, which influences cholesterol synthesis. 

Exercise, of course, is one sure way to increase AMPK, according to studies. There are also phytochemicals that can increase AMPK, such as the polyphenol, berberine. Studies have shown that berberine has been reported to support healthy glucose and lipid levels. Berberine also promotes glucose consumption independent of AMPK activation, according to studies

Green tea polyphenols can also increase phosphorylation of AMPK. One study suggests  the activation of AMPK as a potential mechanism by which green tea polyphenols regulate hepatic lipid metabolism in such a way that lipid synthesis is reduced and fat oxidation is stimulated.


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