AMPK: Turn on Your Body’s “Youth Switch”Print
By James Robbins
Over time, AMPK activity declines. The result is accelerated aging. AMPK activation in animal models contributes to longer, healthier lifespans.1-3
Two low-cost nutrients have demonstrated potent AMPK-activating effects. By taking steps to activate
AMPK, it becomes possible to enhance youthful functionality throughout our body.
AMPK: A “Youth Switch”
AMPK is a master metabolic regulator in cells.2,4,5 It helps the body run more efficiently.
When activated, AMPK helps combat degenerative changes by several pathways including:1,5,6
- Enhancing energy metabolism, meaning AMPK tells cells to burn fuel for energy rather than storing it as fat.
- Promoting cellular “housekeeping” functions (autophagy) that help clean up “junk” proteins that otherwise accumulate in aging cells.
- Reducing chronic inflammation.
These functions usually operate at peak efficiency when we’re young.
But like so many other systems in our bodies, AMPK signaling declines with aging. This results in impaired metabolic function, increased inflammation and reduced cellular housekeeping functions—all of which accelerate aging.1,2,6
Activating AMPK boosts health and can help prevent many of the most common causes of premature death.4,7Increasing AMPK helps restore cells’ youthful function, and its effects can be seen throughout the body.
Benefits of AMPK Activation
In short, activating AMPK is analogous to flipping on a “youth switch” that has the potential to decelerate some of the harmful effects of degenerative aging.
Scientists at Life Extension have identified two compounds proven to activate AMPK: hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid, and Gynostemma pentaphyllum leaf extract.
By activating cellular AMPK, we can help combat age-accelerators—and one of the primary ones is abdominal fat.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- AMPK functions as the body’s “youth switch.”
- Activated AMPK programs cells to recover several aspects of youthful function.
- Studies show that both hesperidin and pentaphyllumextracts boost AMPK activation, reduce blood glucose and lipids, enhance vascular health, and promote weight loss.
- AMPK activation is an essential part of any anti-aging, healthspan-enhancing regimen.
The Obesity/Aging Connection
This presents a major health problem because abdominal fat churns out massive amounts of inflammation, which damages blood vessels, heart muscle, brain cells, and other tissues throughout the body.8
One of AMPK’s functions is to help reduce abdominal fat and the inflammation it produces. As AMPK activity decreases with age, weight gain and chronic inflammation often follow because the body is more likely to store fat rather than burn it for energy.5, 9, 10
Both hesperidin and G. pentaphyllum help get to the root of these aging processes by combatting abdominal obesity and the inflammation it generates.
Scientists are only beginning to scratch the surface of AMPK modulation as a powerful anti-aging tool.
Activated AMPK re-establishes a youthful intracellular environment.
In addition to protecting against conditions such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, activating AMPK has been shown to extend health span and lifespan in animal models4,7 and to improve markers of longevity in humans.12
Many critical factors that contribute to aging are regulated in part by AMPK. Its activation is one of the promising anti-aging interventions being investigated by scientists worldwide.
Two proven AMPK activators, hesperidin and an extract of Gynostemma pentaphyllum, have been shown to help combat aging factors such as obesity, inflammation, elevated blood sugar and cholesterol, and arterial dysfunction.
- Salminen A, Kaarniranta K. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) controls the aging process via an integrated signaling network. Ageing Res Rev.2012 Apr;11(2):230-41.
- Salminen A, Kaarniranta K, Kauppinen A. Age-related changes in AMPK activation: Role for AMPK phosphatases and inhibitory phosphorylation by upstream signaling pathways. Ageing Res Rev.2016 Jul;28:15-26.
- Stenesen D, Suh JM, Seo J, et al. Adenosine nucleotide biosynthesis and AMPK regulate adult life span and mediate the longevity benefit of caloric restriction in flies. Cell Metab.2013 Jan 8;17(1):101-12.
- McCarty MF. AMPK activation--protean potential for boosting healthspan. Age (Dordr).2014 Apr;36(2):641-63.
- Liu WY, Jiang RS. Advances in the research of AMPK and its subunit genes. Pak J Biol Sci.2013 Nov 15;16(22):1459-68.
- Salminen A, Hyttinen JM, Kaarniranta K. AMP-activated protein kinase inhibits NF-kappaB signaling and inflammation: impact on healthspan and lifespan. J Mol Med (Berl).2011 Jul;89(7):667-76.
- Martin-Montalvo A, Mercken EM, Mitchell SJ, et al. Metformin improves healthspan and lifespan in mice. Nat Commun.2013;4:2192.
- Virdis A, Santini F, Colucci R, et al. Vascular generation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha reduces nitric oxide availability in small arteries from visceral fat of obese patients. J Am Coll Cardiol.2011 Jul 12;58(3):238-47.
- Liu F, Benashski SE, Persky R, et al. Age-related changes in AMP-activated protein kinase after stroke. Age (Dordr).2012 Feb;34(1):157-68.
- Rojas J, Arraiz N, Aguirre M, et al. AMPK as Target for Intervention in Childhood and Adolescent Obesity. J Obes.2011;2011:252817.
- de Kreutzenberg SV, Ceolotto G, Cattelan A, et al. Metformin improves putative longevity effectors in peripheral mononuclear cells from subjects with prediabetes. A randomized controlled trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis.2015 Jul;25(7):686-93.