Green Tea Turns on Fat Burning Gene

Friday, April 12, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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The gene signal AMPK (5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is an important energy sensor at the cell level. When it activates, fats are burned for fuel. A study shows that one of the numerous metabolic benefits of green tea is that it turns on AMPK.

Researchers were trying to figure out why green tea lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and leptin. Their gene study showed that green tea turns off the enzyme that assembles fat (fatty acid synthase) and turned on the gene that helps cells burn fat (AMPK).  When this mechanism is turned on, at least for part of the day, it will certainly help weight loss.

AMPK is turned off every time you eat, on purpose. This is because your body needs to store the calories you consume. Between meals, about three to four hours after your meal—especially if you are following the Five Rules of the Leptin Diet, AMPK will turn back on and start helping you burn fat. 

AMPK can also be turned on by two minutes of vigorous exercise. Try this in the middle of the afternoon if you tend to suffer from an afternoon power outage or snack compulsion. Taking green tea mid-morning and mid-afternoon would be ideal times to help you enhance this natural fat burning process.

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