AMPK is in every cell in our bodies. It revitalizes old cells, reduces fat storage in cells, regulates glucose, reduces triglycerides, creates new mitochondria and is the trash man for our cells. It rids the cell of the accumulated waste products.
AMPK is the enzyme adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. When properly maintained, it helps to extend longevity (by 20-30% in test animals) and increases your ability to deal with stress.
How do we increase AMPK in our cells? Vigorous exercise is one way. A total sedentary life leads to less AMPK to maintain good health. Age-related disease increases as AMPK levels decrease.
Another way to increase AMPK is a caloric restriction lifestyle. Eat thirty percent fewer calories than nutritionists recommend for good health. The typical recommendation is 15 cal/lb. A one-hundred-pound person requires 1500 calories daily to maintain weight. However, on a caloric restriction lifestyle, only 1000 calories are needed. But, these calories must be nutritionally balanced. Return to normal eating and AMPK levels fall.
Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat patients with type II diabetes. Metformin is used to lower elevated levels of blood glucose. It also increases levels of AMPK. This drug is not given to people to raise their AMPK.
There are a couple of plant extracts that have been proven to increase AMPK. One is gynostemma pentaphyllum (related to the cucumber). The other is trans-tiliroside (from rose hips). Both extracts trigger increases in AMPK. Interestingly enough, the trans-tiliroside reduces blood glucose levels far better than metformin.
What happens when you maintain low levels of AMPK? According to Life Extension magazine (Winter 2014/2015), your belly fat increases, chronic inflammation increases, blood sugar increases, insulin resistance increases, cholesterol increases, mitochondria cells decrease, and mitochondrial function decreases.
Abnormal and damaged proteins accumulate in our cells which can lead to neurodegenerative disease with low AMPK levels. A recent discovery was that the p53 biochemical longevity factor is activated with AMPK. Low levels of AMPK shut off this factor. P53 suppresses tumors and inhibits uncontrolled cell propagation usually seen in cancer growth. When longevity factors are shut off, premature death is on the horizon.
Want to enjoy a good, long, healthy life? Increase your AMPK.