AMPK is an enzyme found in every cell in your body. The real name for AMPK is 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase, also known as 5’adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. AMPK is critical for good health and longevity. As we age, our levels of AMPK decrease naturally.
A loss of AMPK increases abdominal obesity, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, cellular stress and chronic inflammation. It influences insulin sensitivity which causes excess glucose in our blood. It negatively affects the function of our mitochondrial and gene expression. Low levels of AMPK cause an unneeded accumulation of cellular debris and senescent cells. It can also lead to heart failure.
AMPK acts as a switch to determine how our cells use energy. It can turn on the processes to burn or not burn fat. When stored energy is burned from fats, it increases the elimination of fats and sugars from our blood stream. The latest research indicates that AMPK is responsible for potentially extended our lives by 20-30%.
Normal levels of AMPK reduce fat storage in your cells (especially around your belly), the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, chronic inflammation, and liver fat accumulation. It increases the numbers of cellular mitochondria and insulin sensitivity to control blood glucose levels.
The bottom line is that you want healthy levels of AMPK. Normal aging will lead to unhealthy levels of AMPK. What can you do? Vigorous exercise increases AMPK. Caloric restriction (with balanced nutrition) increases AMPK. Two herbal extracts, gynostemma pentaphyllum and trans-tiliroside (from rose hips) activate our bodies production of AMPK. The prescription drug, Metformin, used for treating type II diabetes also shows a proclivity for increasing production of AMPK.
Want to live and healthy and long life? Consider amping up your AMPK.