Curcumin Boosts AMPK Activation, Prevents Fatty Liver

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Several new studies show that curcumin activates the enzyme AMPK, along with related fat burning gene signals, thus preventing the build up of fat in liver cells. 

AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) is a pivotal cell enzyme required to orchestrate the burning of fat and sugar. The first study was trying to figure out if curcumin had a mechanism that could specifically help protect against non-alcohol fatty liver disease; a common consequence of obesity-related health problems. This study showed that curcumin turned on AMPK, induced fat burning, while inhibiting fat deposition in liver cells. The researchers concluded that these mechanisms were adequate to conclude that, “curcumin extract may be active in the prevention of fatty liver.”

In a second study, researchers fed a high fat diet to mice to the point of inducing fatty liver. In the mice that were also fed curcumin, it prevented the mice from developing fatty liver. It did this by activating AMPK to orchestrate the gene signaling that enhances fat burning. The researchers concluded that curcumin was of use “as a therapeutic for hepatic steatosis [fatty liver].”

This new Korean research is a continuation of a decade of science relating to curcumin and obesity. I have previously reviewed their work and the work of others in my article, Curcumin Now Touted as a Significant Weight Loss & Disease Prevention Nutrient. Curcumin is an excellent nutrient to add to any person’s weight management plan.

Friendly Flora Boosts Weight Loss in Obese Women

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It is becoming a very well documented fact that the bacterial balance of power within your digestive tract has a major bearing on your metabolism and body weight, independent of how many calories you consume or your exercise habits. The latest study sh…

Glycomacropeptides for Weight Management

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Glycomacropeptides (GMPs) are a typical component of whey protein. It now appears that the GMPs themselves, as distinct from the grams of protein, have distinct weight loss properties.

It is quite clear that whey protein, as compared to similar amounts of other proteins, is a highly superior food for weight management. This has been demonstrated in a number of human studies.

Its ability to help weight loss is partly due to the quality of the protein, ease of absorption, and high leucine content that helps correct insulin and blood sugar issues. Additionally, researchers have been looking into the biological activity of various other components of whey for their potential role as regulators of metabolism – factors that do not exist in most other protein sources.

One of these factors is the GMPs, which have known anti-inflammatory and immune-support regulatory properties. Most research on GMPs has focused on digestive health. We now know that stubborn weight issues are heavily influenced by inflammatory problems within white adipose tissue. A Chinese research group is exploring the relationship between GMPs and white adipose tissue health.

Their first study involved baby fat cells, seeking to determine if exposing them to GMPs influenced their behavior. They found that GMPs inhibited the rate at which baby fat cells became adult fat cells. Furthermore, GMPs reduced the amount of fat taken up by fat cells. Since overweight people have too many baby fat cells becoming adults too quickly and excessively filling up with fat, these initial cell results were encouraging.

In their most recent study they induced obesity in rats with a high fat diet. Some rats were fed various amounts of GMP along with the high fat diet over an 8-week period. The rats fed GMP had significantly less white adipose tissue weight gain. Their livers did not become fatty. They had lower levels of leptin (preventing leptin resistance). They had lower cholesterol and triglycerides. They had lower levels of free radical damage in the mitochondria of cells and the liver, as well as boosted antioxidant enzyme function. And they had lower levels of key inflammatory signals coming from fat (TNFa and IL6), which are the hallmark of sickly fat.

The number of anti-obesity benefits the researchers documented is stunning. They are consistent with findings of many human studies on whey protein in the weight loss context. It is quite likely that part of the weight loss benefit of whey protein has to do with metabolic regulation coming from the GMPs. It also tells us that there is more to food than the fat, carbohydrate, and protein content. Certain foods, such as whey protein, appear to be a metabolic powerhouse.

A Multi-Strain Friendly Flora Helps Diabetic Patients

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Many metabolic problems are adversely influenced by what is going on in the digestive tract. Adverse bacterial and Candida populations produce toxic byproducts and phantom metabolic signals that interfere with healthy metabolic function throughout the body. A new study shows that a multi-strain probiotic supplement helps improve the blood sugar metabolism in diabetic individuals.

Participants consumed a multi-strain probiotic daily for 8 weeks. The probiotic prevented blood sugar from rising during the study period, whereas it went up 28 percent in the control group. The C-reactive protein (CRP) marker of inflammation had decreased in the probiotic group and increased in the control group. The probiotic group also had elevated blood levels of the important antioxidant enzyme glutathione, indicating a better ability to tolerate stress within the circulation.

This study demonstrates that digestive health is an important factor to consider when looking into blood sugar metabolism. Clearly there is a link between poor digestive health and impaired blood sugar metabolism. It is not the only issue, but it is an important issue.

A person has a variety of strategies that can be employed to improve digestive health, one of which is taking a high quality multi-strain acidophilus product. Improvement in digestive health minimally helps remove stress from metabolic processes and may play a large role in helping to fix them (which will vary from person to person).

One word of caution – blood sugar medications have no intelligence in their sledgehammer approach to influencing metabolism. If a person is taking such medications then improving their metabolism by natural means may result in their dose of blood sugar medication being too high, which can cause hypoglycemia. I do know of one person on such medications who had a bout of low blood sugar following taking a multi-strain probiotic. Of course, a person should work with their health professional to adjust any medication dose. People who are taking blood sugar medication and improving their metabolism in any way, which includes many types of dietary supplements, need to be cognizant that their medication dose may need adjustment to accommodate improvement in their health.