The study, published in the journal Chemistry and Biology earlier this year, states they are closer to understanding the keys to regulating energy consumption in the body through food. It all starts with the AMP activated protein kinase or AMPK. The enzyme has been researched to assist with metabolic disorders. This may be the “master switch” that shifts into high gear when the brain gets low energy readings from the body.
It’s the same enzyme activated when someone exercises and it activates the consumption of glucose. It starts the ATP process or the currency of energy in the body. The idea is to find natural substances that emulate or can replicate the effects of activating AMPK. In lab rats and mice, the activation of the enzyme is proving it can stop the liver from producing fat, which is half the battle in exercise and overall weight loss. But even with the research showing promise in lab test results, the search for the magic bullet is long from over. And it may be longer before the FDA approves the products for distribution in the United States.
It’s important to point out that this is not a cure all for exercise, and that no food product can replace all exercise. Exercise has many benefits that cannot be replaced by a chemical activator. Many doctors are also quick to point out that eating healthy is one of the most important factors in weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. No miracle metabolism booster can replace those key factors.
“Exercise has so many different effects – a cognitive role and physiological function – we’ll never be able to mimic all those effects in a single product,” said Kei Sakamoto, the Head of Diabetes and Circadian Rhythms at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.
Even Nestle admits that they are not sure if they can replicate the lab results in humans. Many are hopeful that this will add another tool to the box for assisting those who struggle with weight loss and leading active lifestyles since this can cause many other issues, but don’t let the announcement get your hopes up that a magic bullet for weight loss is just around the corner.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Morgan)