I know you want to keep your weight in a healthy range just because it makes you look and feel your best. But did you also know that keeping a healthy weight will also help prevent the serious complications of obesity, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease? It’s true.
By keeping a healthy weight you boost your levels of adiponectin – a powerful fat burning hormone that your body makes naturally. A higher level of adiponectin means lower body fat and lower complications from it. I’d like to tell you about a few sure-fire strategies that will help you boost adiponectin levels, lose weight and prevent disease.
Adiponectin: Your Natural Fat Burning, Anti-Inflammatory Hormone
There’s one absolutely critical thing you must do to be successful at achieving a healthy weight and that is to raise your adiponectin levels. Let me tell you about this amazing hormone.
Adiponectin is a fat burning hormone that gets secreted by your white adipose (fat) tissues. Adiponectin levels are influenced by genetics, nutrition, exercise, and how much abdominal fat you have. When your fat levels are low, you secrete more adiponectin and when your fat levels rise, you secrete less.
Adiponectin helps control your insulin levels. Insulin is another hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels. Without sufficient adiponectin, insulin stops working efficiently and you can become insulin resistant – especially if you’re over age 45. As a result your blood sugar levels become chronically elevated. You may gain even more belly fat, which leaves you vulnerable to developing prediabetes. Unless you take steps to stop this process, this condition can persist for a few years before it progresses into full blown diabetes.
In addition, research shows [Adiponectin in insulin resistance: lessons from translational research, Harvard Medical School, Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan; 91(1):258S-261S. Epub 2009 Nov 11] that healthy adiponectin levels help prevent insulin resistance by making you more sensitive to insulin. It also fights chronic inflammation that can set in with metabolic syndrome – a cluster of symptoms including insulin resistance, obesity, elevated blood sugar levels/prediabetes, and elevated heart disease markers. Chronic inflammation throughout your cardiovascular system raises your risk for developing dangerous arterial plaques.
How To Naturally Boost Adiponectin
Recent research has shown 3 sure-fire – and easy to do – strategies that can successfully and safely raise your levels of adiponectin. Let me explain.
1. Exercise/Calorie Controlled Diet. Exercise is good for your muscles, mood, strength, heart and lung capacity, and helps you burn excess calories. It also helps your metabolic processes by helping to regulate hormones like adiponectin, insulin and cortisol (see below). Studies have shown that exercise with a calorie-controlled diet raises adiponectin levels by 18%-48%.
2. Fiber. Most American diets are very deficient in fiber. Yet, adequate fiber intake has been shown in research to prevent heart disease and colon cancer. In addition, it raises adiponectin levels an amazing 60%-115%! At least 20-25 grams of fiber a day is needed for good health. Read labels and keep track of how much you take in daily. Best sources include whole grains, high-pectin fruits like apples, oranges, tangerines, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, celery, etc.
3. Fish Oil. Omega-3 DHA oils have been research-proven to help decrease inflammation throughout your body – including your cardiovascular system. It also has been shown to boost adiponectin levels 14% to 60%. This strategy can easily be achieved by eating Omega-3 rich fish like salmon and mackerel 3 times a week, and/or by taking a supplement of 1,000 mg a day.
You can see, then, that by combining these 3 methods you can boost your adiponectin levels over 100%! Other things you can do to help keep adiponectin levels normal include:
1. Decreasing your stress levels. Stress leads to an over-production of another hormone – cortisol. Too high cortisol can upset insulin levels, decrease adiponectin, burn muscle for energy, which slows down metabolism and aggravates fat gain. Exercising more, meditation, limiting caffeine intake, working to resolve life stressors can decrease cortisol.
2. Drink a little coffee. Recent research has shown that coffee-drinkers have higher adiponectin levels, lower blood sugar levels, less type 2 diabetes, and less inflammation. Coffee is very high in powerful antioxidants that help squash the DNA damage of free radicals. It also prevents pro-inflammatory chemicals (cytokines, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor) from developing. While a few cups of coffee a day can help boost adiponectin, as well as help you exercise more, too much caffeine can start to work against you. Too much caffeine creates more stress and elevated cortisol levels. It can also put stress on your heart rhythms. Limit to 2-3 cups of regular coffee a day or switch to decaf. New studies have shown that decaf coffee also has as much antioxidants as regular. Look for water, or Swiss processed decaf, though, to avoid questionable chemicals of some other decaf processes.
I hope you better understand now how important it is to keep your natural adiponectin levels healthy. This important hormone not only helps you achieve a healthy weight but will help you avoid the serious complications of obesity, like type 2 diabetes, inflammation and heart disease. Making a little effort everyday to eat a healthy, weight-controlling diet, get enough fiber and Omega-3 fish oil in your diet, will go a long way to helping you preserve a healthy fat-fighting metabolism and help prevent the diseases that can come with obesity.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Natural Health News
Fiber, Fish Oil, Exercise Boost Adiponectin, http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight/articles/fiber_fish_oil_exercise_boost_adiponectin/
Drink Coffee Daily to Boost Fat Burning Hormones, http://www.getprograde.com/coffee-and-adiponectin.html#.UMYRyKwsvp8
Adiponectin in insulin resistance: lessons from translational research, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19906806
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