What Is AMPK And What Does It Do?

AMPK is classified as a type of enzyme that plays a role in maintaining energy balance. It is made up of three proteins which are known as sub-units, which together create the functional enzyme. AMPK is found in a number of tissues in the human body which includes the fat cells, muscles, skeletal muscles, the liver and the brain.

Net effects involved in AMPK activation is inclusive of triglyceride synthesis, ketogenesis, inhibits cholesterol, lipogenesis, stimulates hepatic fatty-acid oxidation, and stimulates fatty-acid oxidation in the skeletal muscles and glucose uptake.

AMPK is also recognized as a type of energy sensor. When this enzyme is activated in the correct tissues, it can promote several beneficial effects inside the human body. Some of these important benefits include improving insulin sensitivity, encouraging weight-loss, reduces inflammation, enhances muscle-performance along with a host of other essential benefits. It is also able to foster healthy aging and has an involvement in several longevity pathways.

AMPK is able to induce various events in the cells all around the body, in its response to ever-changing energy charges of the cells.

AMPK’s role in association to normalizing this cellular-charge is what makes it essential when it comes to maintaining homeostasis. The latest evidence has shown that the physiological-stimuli is also able to regulate AMPK activity. This is inclusive of hormones and nutrients, and this is independent of the energy charge of the cells.

AMPK Activator Benefits


Increases Metabolism

Space-filling model of the adenosine triphosph...
Space-filling model of the adenosine triphosphate molecule, also known as ATP, the nucleotide that functions as the primary energy carrier in cells, often called the “molecular unit of currency”. This image shows the electrically neutral form. Colour code (click to show) : Black: Carbon, C : White: Hydrogen, H : Red: Oxygen, O : Blue: Nitrogen, N : Orange: Phosphorus, P (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hypothalamic AMPK is able to sense the levels of energy in association to ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is produced inside the body. This translates into an increase in energy expenditure, along with improvements in appetite when this occurs in the area of the hypothalamus.

AMPK will activate when the cellular-energy starts to drop. It is able to target several processes that result in coordinated reductions in energy usage as well as an increase in ATP energy production. Over and above these benefits, it at the same time improves glucose production and uptake and minimizes heat production.

• Helps produce and break down sugars

The body’s main source of fuel is glucose which is also a major contributor to the brain’s normal functioning. Hypoglycemia, a condition in which the blood glucose level falls below normal, poses a serious threat to the functioning and stability of the brain and therefore activates AMPK.

When AMPK is activated in the hypothalamus, it stimulates liver glucose production by inhibiting glycogen synthesis (glucose storage). It also promotes the breakdown of glucose as a fuel (in the form of ATP) and the absorption of glucose into the muscles.

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Burns Fat

AMPK can block triglycerides, fatty acids, and cholesterol production while stimulating fat burning instead. This is particularly evident in the fact that AMPK activation is considered beneficial for people suffering from cardiovascular and weight problems.

Prevents Protein Production

When it comes to conserving energy, particularly in states of very low energy, AMPK will inhibit protein production, which is a process which typically needs high-energy.

• Helps in the delivery of oxygen

The activation of AMPK is able to protect against hypoxia which is a state where oxygen levels are very low or severe breathing instability which occurs during sleep. In research studies, the absence of AMPK discovered that it triggered breathing impairments in states of hypoxia which was found in one of the animal studies involving mice.

• Works As An Antioxidant

AMPK is also linked to playing a vital role when it comes to boosting antioxidant defenses inside the body when oxidative stress arises. It is able to stimulate the production of a number of the antioxidant proteins which is inclusive of NRF2, uncoupling protein 2, and superoxide dismutase.


Assists In Weight Loss

ampk weight loss

As mentioned above AMPK plays a role in the body’s abilities to burn fat and can, therefore, assist in effective weight loss. When it comes to weight loss it is preferable that AMPK is activated inside the muscle, fat and the liver and then inhibited inside the hypothalamus. It is in this manner that the fat and energy stores will start to burn, and appetite and hunger will at the same time decrease.

Offers Similar Benefits To Exercise

Humans are able to derive benefits associated with physical exercise, partly in the way of activating AMPK. In a study conducted on animals, sedentary mice that took the AMPK activator known as AICAR for a period of 4 weeks where able to gain the very same benefits compared to participating in endurance training in relation to muscle-mitochondrial profiles and actual treadmill-endurance.

Increases And Improves Blood Circulation

AMPK assists with the improvement of blood circulation in the way of vasodilation or expanding of the blood vessels. In addition, it also stimulates nitric oxide release within the blood vessels.

Assists With Fertility

AMPK is able to increase sex hormone production in both men and women. This is able to aid in fertility across a number of animal species. However, losing AMPK can also result in a reduction of fertility for both sexes.

Promotes The Production Of Mitochondria

ampk activator benefits:mitochondria

AMPK is responsible for improving mitochondrial activities for acute as well as long-term. AMPK is also responsible for controlling production and turn-over of mitochondria. In studies conducted on mice, it was discovered that AMPK loss resulted in a decrease in mitochondrial activities and also dramatically reduced muscle performance.

Promotes Cellular Renewal

Cellular renewal known as autophagy is a process which recycles the cellular-components and promotes molecular sub-unit and cell quality control. At the same time, it is able to degrade damaged or misfolded mitochondria and proteins. Autophagy is also able to contribute to energy-generation, which means it encourages processes involved in mitochondrial metabolism in the way of providing enough fuel.

Fights Against Aging And Promotes A Longer Lifespan

As we start to age, our AMPK activation starts to progressively decline. According to experts, this could be associated with inflammation inside the body which is age-related. However, activation of AMPK has been discovered to facilitate a number of longevity pathways that foster a process of healthy aging. This is possible by enhancing autophagy along with minimizing protein production.

Assists In Reducing Inflammation

AMPK is responsible for indirectly inhibiting NFκB, which is the main activator linked with chronic inflammation, which therefore is responsible for reducing inflammation inside the body. However, inflammation and AMPK can be compared to 2 opposing forces. This explained in the way that even though AMPK is able to decrease inflammation, on the other hand, inflammation is responsible for decreasing AMPK.

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• Supports heart health

The activation of AMPK plays a vital role when it comes to protecting the body against a number of cardiovascular diseases. One of the benefits of AMPK activation is that it is able to improve blood flow, while at the same time reducing triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels.

Improves Symptoms Of Diabetics

Activation of AMPK is what enhances insulin-sensitivity. In studies conducted on animals, mice who had an AMPK deficiency were shown to have a dysfunctional glucose-tolerance. One of the more commonly prescribed type of anti-diabetic medications known as Metformin is one of the AMPK activators. This medication is prescribed for the patients with Type-2 diabetes.

Foods That Activate AMPK

Diet and food composition strongly influence AMPK’s activity.When AMPK rises to reach healthy levels, inflammatory lipids decrease, since fat is being used to produce energy and is not stored only as fat, which further stimulates inflammatory processes within the fat cell.

Some types of foods containing unique compounds provide additional stimulation to AMPK.

Dietary Fiber

ampk activator foods:dietary fiber
Healthy diet high dietary fiber breakfast with bowl of bran cereal and berries

Fiber plays a key role in the activation of AMPK. It’ s a particular form of soluble fiber called glucomannan that has a greater effect on boosting insulin sensitivity and triggering AMPK than any other fiber.


Often found in a wide variety of plant-based products, such as vegetables, fruits, and grains, Quercetin has been shown to increase AMPK in the areas of fat, muscle, and liver.

Green Tea Extract

Evidence shows that green tea extract activates AMPK through activation of its upstream kinase, LKB1, responsible for cancerous tumor suppression.This is one of the best foods for activating the enzyme, given that green tea is affordable and readily available, although is not the strongest source.For this, the specific compound in green tea is EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate)


Grapefruit, in particular, has a component called nootkatone, a naturally occurring activator of AMPK.  Nootkatone’ s highest concentration is in the grapefruit peel.You can either add a little bit of grapefruit peel in your shake or use a highly concentrated essential oil obtained from peel extracts to help activate your AMPK.

Jiaogulan Tea(Gynostemma pentaphyllum)

AMPK activator

An herb member of the same family as cucumber. It is believed to promote longevity and as such its use has been widely spread in Traditional Chinese Medicine over centuries.Some of that data has been corroborated in recent studies.As preliminary as it is, research suggests that G. pentaphyllum compounds can help control blood sugar levels.

Aside from increasing insulin sensitivity, it also has beneficial effects on maintaining or losing weight.

Health benefits of Jiaogulan stem from the fact that it contains very high levels of a variety of plant chemicals commonly known as saponins, conferring on Gynostemma its adaptogenic and antioxidant effects, while also regulating the production of nitric oxide in the body.

Among the more potent activators, this herb seems to be one of them.


ampk activator foods:turmeric
Turmeric root and turmeric slice

An alcohol extract of turmeric was shown in one study in rats to have suppressed excess body weight, reduced white fat tissue, lowered triglycerides, and cholesterol. Several mechanisms played a role, one of which was AMPK activation.

Many other nutrients like resveratrol, lycopene, and ginger also support the activation of AMPK. What’s more, DHA omega-3 fish oil and grape seed extract complement the AMPK function by shielding the body in the face of inflammatory conditions and suppressed AMPK activity, namely insulin resistance and weight gain.

Life-Sustaining functions rely on how well cellular enzymes work.Activating the AMPK enzyme inhibits progressive and degenerative diseases, therefore, leveraging cellular AMPK empowers the body in a way that allows for the reversal of age-related physical and mental decline.




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