Thursday, November 30, 2017

AMPK - An Ideal Target For Weight Loss & Anti-Aging

The evolution of medical science has revealed that many of the common symptoms of aging may be caused by a reversible failure of cellular mechanics. One such mechanic that has been the target of anti-aging research is a cellular enzyme known as adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

AMPK is activated in the presence of rising levels of Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP). AMPK activation increases fatty acid oxidation and glucose transport, releasing additional energy from stored fats and sugars. In essence, activated AMPK promotes energy-releasing processes while suppressing energy-storing processes. As a result, organisms with high AMPK activity tend to be more lean, with relatively low blood sugar and fat levels, and a very low risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.




Activated AMPK promotes all the processes needed to maintain a youthful profile. However, AMPK activity fades with age. As previously mentioned, AMPK is activated in the presence of increased AMP. Therefore, to test the anti-aging properties of AMPK, researchers used fruit flies that were genetically engineered to synthesize higher levels of AMP. The research found that the modified flies lived up to one-third longer as a result of increased AMPK activity. "The life span benefit of these mutations depends upon increased AMP:ATP and ADP:ATP ratios and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Transgenic expression of AMPK in adult fat body or adult muscle, key metabolic tissues, extended life span" (Stenesen, 2013).

Luckily, AMPK can be activated without genetic manipulation. Researchers have now confirmed that consistent dosages of oral AMP results in increased AMPK activity. In a study using lab rats fed supplemental AMP, "AMP effectively improved hypertension, plasma triglyceride, and HDL-cholesterol, glucose, kidney function parameters, hepatic lipid, enhances plasma nitric oxide, and plasma adiponectin..." (Ardiansyah, 2011). The researchers found that AMP up-regulated mRNA expression levels, affecting genes involved in B-oxidation, fatty acid synthesis, and AMPK. 


 

It is clear that AMPK activity is desirable for reducing the unwanted effects of aging. AMPK activity can be increased through exercise and proper nutrition however as we age, AMPK activity declines. This decline can be reduced and possibly even reversed through pharmacologic AMPK activation such as that achieved through supplemental oral AMP.




Sources:

Stenesen, D., Suh, JM., Seo, J., Yu, K., Lee, K.S., Min, K.J., & Graff, J.M. (2013). Adenosine nucleotide biosynthesis and AMPK regulate adult life span and mediate the longevity benefit of caloric restriction in flies. Cellular Metabolism. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23312286

Ardiansyah, Shirakawa, D., Koseki, H., Saori, T., Yoshinobu, A., & Michio, K. (2011). Novel Effect of Adenosine 5′-Monophosphate on Ameliorating Hypertension and the Metabolism of Lipids and Glucose in Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Linton, R. (2015). AMPK and Aging. Life Extension.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Neurohormone signaling and obesity.

When food enters the stomach, your body responds by sending signals via hormones to the brain. The intricate circuitry between the gut and brain controls appetite and satiety. After a meal, levels of hormones such as CCK rise leading to feelings of satiety. Compared with lean subjects, overweight patients have lower post-meal levels of CCK: a possible explanation for overeating and reduced satisfaction after a meal.

Studies have shown that levels of the appetite regulating hormone CCK remain suppressed even after weight loss. Reductions of this hormone can persist up to one year after weight loss, promoting increased appetite and decreased satiety; potentially leading to overeating and weight regain.

L-phenylalanine is a naturally occurring amino acid which has been shown to increase CCK. A double-blind study found that L-phenylalanine led to an increase of CCK levels by more than 5X base levels. There were no negative side effects. Furthermore, the L-phenylalanine group saw a significant reduction in caloric intake, giving evidence to the use of L-phenylalanine to control appetite, especially in cases where CCK production is otherwise suppressed.



Smith, A. (2017). Neurohormonal effects on obesity. Bariatric Times. Retreived from: http://bariatrictimes.com/neurohormonal-effects-obesity-nov2017/

Ballinger, AB., Clark, ML. (1994). L-phenylalanine releases cholecystokinin (CCK) and is associated with reduced food intake in humans. Metabolism. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8201963

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fish Oils: Why Omega 3 should be a staple of your weight loss program.

Omega 3 fatty acids have long been known for their benefits relating to heart disease, but they are important for so much more! Optimizing your omega-3 is a truly foundational component of good health.



Fish Oil Supplements Decrease Your Appetite.
If you want to stay full longer between meals, popping a couple of fish oil capsules after you eat may help. A 2008 study found that obese people receiving supplements of omega-3 fatty acids while following a weight loss program experienced a feeling of fullness for longer.

Source: https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2008/06/25/Omega-3-boosts-satiety-during-weight-loss-study

Fish Oil Makes Your Diet and Workout Program More Effective.
The results of one study demonstrated that fish oil supplementation significantly increased resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure during exercise, and the rate of fat oxidation during rest and during exercise. In addition, fish oil consumption lowered triglyceride levels and increased lean mass, while no changes occurred in the placebo group.

Source: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144828

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Vitamin C and Weight Loss: The Stress Connection

Being under stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol's functions include blood pressure regulation, glucose metabolism, blood sugar maintenance, and immune system support. During a stressful event this has positive effects including a higher pain threshold and a rush of energy. However, when your body is constantly producing an abnormally high amount of cortisol, it can disrupt your normal cortisol production and have a negative impact on your health.
Excess cortisol stimulates glucose production leading to a release of insulin. These internal activites result in an increase in appetite. Additionally, the excess glucose is converted to and stored as fat. Some studies have shown that excess cortisol not only increases fat storage, it can also effect where the fat is stored. Researchers believe that cortisol specifically leads to an increase of abdominal fat.


It is possible to keep excess cortisol in check with the proper nutrients, such as vitamin C. Studies have shown that supplementing with between 500mg and 1000mg of vitamin C daily can help reduce cortisol levels post-exercise compared with placebo. Additionally, as an anti-oxidant, vitamin C may be effective for reducing oxidative damage from free radicals produced when cortisol levels are high. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Improve Your Gut Health With Amylase!

As new research places an increasing emphasis on gut health and digestion as a component of optimal health. Digestive enzymes are an important part of this equation as they are essential for getting the nutrients out of the food you eat. Amylase is one of three major enzymes responsible for digesting food and extracting nutrients from the body. Amylase breaks starch down into isomaltose and maltose, two sugar units, as well as other key enzymes. Foods high in starch like bread, corn, and grains, require optimal amylase levels for digestion and metabolism. Without it, the potential fuel from these foods goes to waste.

Amylase deficiency can result in impaired metabolic function, specifically of carbohydrates. Larger molecules cannot be effectively broken down leading to unbalanced blood sugar.

Reasons to supplement with Amylase:

- Improved Digestion

- Increased Energy Levels

- Reduced Inflammation

- Improved Blood Sugar

- Anti-Aging Effects



 


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Weight Loss & the Immune System


Extreme Exercise

Vigorous exercise may potentially lower your immune functioning. Olympians -- who often engage in extreme exercise during peak training months -- report having a lower resistance to upper respiratory tract infections, colds and sore throats. According to a 2001 literature review by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, over-training is associated with physical illnesses. Thus, the intensity of your workout or calorie expenditure is indicative of your infection risk.

Moderate Caloric Restriction

Moderate caloric restriction increases longevity and boosts the immune system to chronic conditions, according to Michigan State University. However, researchers found greater calorie consumption and fat reserves yield a better prognosis in flu outcomes. The flu naturally curbs the body’s appetite, but subsequent eating behavior can dictate the rate an individual overcomes the flu. According to the MSU study, mice engaging in a calorie-restricted diet lost more weight, possessed longer recovery times and revealed increased mortality rates than their non-restricting counterparts.

Overweight Status

Overweight status is a risk factor for poor immune functioning. Fat tissue generates immune hormones. Specialized immune hormones called cytokines react to areas of infection and bodily injuries. According to University of New Mexico researcher Len Kravitz, excess body fat can cause these hormones to overreact, contributing to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with diabetes and heart disease. Weight loss decreases the circulating immune hormones contributing to this inflammation.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/479646-does-losing-weight-lower-your-immune-system/

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Forskolin - An Ancient Herb That Melts Fat Away!

The use of plants as medicine has existed since prehistoric times. Literally sources give evidence of the use of medicinal plants as far back as 3000BC in ancient Egypt, India, and China. Despite the thousands of years of success of certain plants as medicine, the FDA strictly prohibits making claims on such products, making it difficult for medical providers to properly inform their patients and instead leading them to use "FDA approved" products which often include harmful and even deadly side effects.

Coleus forskohlii is a plant native to subtropical and warm temperate habitats and a member of the mint family. The plant has been used since ancient times as a medicinal herb in India, which is also believed to be the place of its origin. Coleus forskohlii has been grown in India, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The genus Coleus includes nearly 200 species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. Of the 200 species of Coleus, only Coleus forskohlii contains forskolin, a bio-active compound with multiple pharmacological benefits.

Although forskolin has been known for its wide range of health benefits, its unique activity as a non-adrenergic stimulator of enzyme adenylate cyclase attracted the attention of researchers to explore its supportive role in managing body weight and promoting lean body mass.

The primary mode of action of forskolin is by increasing concentrations of cyclic AMP (cAMP) through activation of adenylate cyclase, an enzyme involved in the production of cAMP. cAMP functions as a messenger which controls glycogenolysis and glycogenesis. Increased levels of cAMP leads to an activation of the enzymes protein kinase and hormone sensitive lipase. Hormone sensitive lipase is essential for providing energy by mobilizing stored fats through lipolysis.
"Typically, an increase in cAMP levels leads to subsequent activation of protein kinase. Protein
kinase has been shown to activate the hormone-sensitive lipase that is involved in the breakdown of
triglycerides, known as building blocks of fatty tissue"1

Many ingredients available for weight management that are designed to reduce body fat do so with little regard for, or at the expense of, lean muscle mass. This is undesirable because it is believed that an increase in muscle mass upregulate's the body's metabolism, as muscle requires energy to sustain its mass and in turn helps burn additional body fat throughout the day.

"Lean body mass consists of muscles, vital organs, bone, bone marrow, connective tissue and body water. Lean body mass can simply be described as total body weight minus fat. The proportion of lean body mass to fat not only determines the body's aesthetic look, but more importantly determines a person's physical fitness, health status and risk for morbidity (disease) and premature mortality."2

Clinical studies have shown that forskolin use can result in enhanced lean body mass white promoting fat loss and improving overall body composition.

Studies

An eight week trial involving six overweight women taking forskolin via capsule twice per day saw an average weight loss of 9.17lbs3. Body fat percentage decreased from 33.63% to 25.88% and lead body mass saw an increase from 67% to 74%.

A double-blind, placebo controlled study illustrated the effect of forskolin on body composition. Thirty men were assigned forskolin or placebo for a 12-week trial4. Although the participants did not experience significant weight loss, the forskolin group saw a significant increase in lean body mass, from 61% to 64.7% and a decrease in fat mass, 35.17% to 31.03% compared to the placebo group which did not experience any significant change in body composition



1. Bagchi, D., & Preuss, H. (2012). Obesity: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Prevention. New York, NY: CRC Press

2. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M. Coleus forskohlii: Fat-fighting and more. Nurition Industry Executive.

3. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M., Conte, A., & Parker, J. (2002). Diterpene Forskolin. NutraCos.

4. Godard, M., Johnson, B., & Richmond, S. (2005). Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptions... Obesity Research.