Flip Your AMPK switch to the “ON” position

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Introduction to AMPK

AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is an enzyme contained in every cell of the human body that serves as the body’s master regulating switch.

When the AMPK master switch is turned “ON” (by activating AMPK), it inhibits multiple damaging factors of aging and enables cells to become revitalized.  Scientists have found that activated AMPK promotes longevity factors that have been shown to extend life span in numerous organisms.  1  2 

There are various studies that show an increase in AMPK supports:

  • Reduced fat storage 3 
  • New mitochondria production  4 
  • Promotion of healthy blood glucose and lipids already within normal range  5 

dmso-7-241Fig1

Roles of AMPK in the control of whole-body energy metabolism. Notes: Activation of AMPK (green lines) stimulates the energy-generating pathways in several tissues while inhibiting the energy-consuming pathways (red lines). In skeletal muscle and heart, activation of AMPK increases glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation. In the liver, AMPK activity inhibits fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. Lipolysis and lipogenesis in adipose tissue are also reduced by AMPK activation. Activation of AMPK in pancreatic β-cells is associated with decreased insulin secretion. In the hypothalamus, activation of AMPK increases food intake.  Source: AMPK activation: a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes? Kimberly A Coughlan, Rudy J Valentine, Neil B Ruderman, and Asish K Saha, Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014; 7: 241–253. Published online 2014 Jun 24. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S43731

Activating AMPK:  Turning the Switch “ON”

The two major methods of activating AMPK is through:

  • exercise and
  • calorie restriction

When you exercise, you use up more ATP which generates higher AMP levels, which then activates AMPK.  6

The other method of activating AMPK is through calorie restriction by at least 30%.  This means cutting daily calorie consumption by 30%.  By reducing calorie consumption, the lower levels of available energy leads to rising AMP levels, which then activates AMPK.  7

In addition to exercise and calorie restriction, there are many other ways to activate AMPK, particularly through certain foods, herbs and nutraceuticals.  The Table below lists the many researched methods of activating AMPK:

AMPK Activators

CategorySubstance/ActivityReferences
Physiological
Exercise1
Fasting and Intermittant Fasting2
Cold water exposure (raise AMPK in the hypothalamus)3
Calorie Restriction4
Foods
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 5
Royal Jelly (10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA)6
Dashi kombu (Laminaria japonica Areschon)7
Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantum Linn)8
Garlic and Olives (Oleanolic acid)9
Apple Cider Vinegar10
Rose Hips (Trans-Tiliroside)11
Mulberry leaves extracts12
Fish Oil – EPA , DHA 13 14
Anthocyanins 15
Bitter melon16
Fungi
Reishi17
Herbs and Spices
Cinnamon 18
Astragalus 19 20
Marijuana (Cannabinoids)21
Green Tea/EGCG22
Rooibos23
Danshen (Chinese Red Sage)24
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Jiagulon)25
Baicalin26 27
Hormones
Adiponectin 28 29
Thyroid hormones, especiallly T3 30
Leptin31
Nitric Oxide32 33
Immune System
Interleukin-6 (IL-6)34
Nutraceuticals
Apigenin35
Berberine36
Butyrate (Calcium/Magnesium ) or Sodium Butyrate (Short Chain Fatty-Acid)37
Carnitine38
Co-enzyme Q1039
Creatine40
Curcumin41
Fucoidan42
Genistein43
Glucosamine44 45
Hydroxytyrosol46
Oxaloacetate47
Quercetin48 49
Red yeast rice50
Resveratrol51
R-Lipoic Acid52 53
Vitamin E - gamma tocotrienol54
Pharmaceuticals
Aspirin55
Metformin56


Informational References:

Life Extension – AMPK and Aging “A Technical Review”  (November 2015)


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