AMPK plays a very significant role in the control of blood sugar, and low AMPK levels have been implicated in diabetes. AMPK, an enzyme, is considered the metabolic master switch and is particularly important in providing feedback to the liver as far as whether our blood sugar should be raised and the extent that it should be raised.
So given that diabetics tend to have persistently high blood sugar a lot of the time, broken AMPK signaling, from lack of AMPK expression, can be a big deal indeed.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and what we need to realize is that when we look at the heart of the matter, a lot of the effects that we see, such as high blood sugar, high insulin levels, high glucagon levels, high adrenal hormone levels, insulin resistance, glucotoxity and lipotoxity, and so on, are all symptoms of a metabolic disturbance, defects in metabolism that cause these hormones and other things to go awry.
It can sometimes be helpful to treat the symptoms, but in the end, unless we treat what's really wrong, unless we at least focus on a higher order dysfunction, things that are behind the symptoms that we see at a higher level, we're not really going to fix the problem very much.
In a sense, some of these symptoms, like high blood sugar, may actually be the body's attempt to deal with the problem, and the symptoms that we are trying to address may be our bodies' attempt to actually deal with the situation, like for instance our getting a fever with an infection. So the fever actually assists in killing off the pathogens that are making us sick, and if we just reduce the fever without tackling the real problem, we aren't going to get better, we're going to get worse.
So we might actually be better off with the higher blood sugar given our condition, for instance being in a situation where our cells require higher blood sugar for proper metabolism, and we may be starving them to a certain degree by artificially reducing it. So this is something we do need to bear in mind when we look to just address symptoms.
Low AMPK expression isn't a symptom though, it's a cause, or at least it's further up the causal chain. So increasing this is a good thing, and one of the ways to increase this is through regular exercise, and although this tends to increase AMPK modestly, it does so enough that people get real benefits from it.
So I don't want to get into too much of a technical discussion of this, other than to mention that we now suspect that low AMPK detection by the hypothalamus, the body's master gland located inside the brain, may be behind the whole cascade of hormonal problems that play an huge role in our disease.
So AMPK is something that we are low in so to speak, as diabetics, and it's also something we want to raise, and when we raise it, our diabetes improves, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well, provided we keep levels more healthy.
So what else besides exercise can we do to restore AMPK? Well intermittent fasting can also help, we exercise too little and eat too much these days and especially eat too often, 3 meals a day plus snacks, they even recommend this for diabetics, that doesn't allow for proper AMPK restoration even if you don't have problems with this, in other words being low anyway, and we surely are, especially eating like this.
What about medications to raise AMPK? Well this is the main way that Metformin works, and this is how it helps cut down on liver dumping, which is the main problem we have, and it is pretty effective, reducing about a third of our excess liver dumping and reducing our A1C by about a percentage point on average.
Berberine, a non prescription supplement, has been shown to work equally as well in both increasing AMPK and reducing blood sugar, without the side effects that Metformin is so famous for, which generally aren't serious but they can prevent people from being able to tolerate it. I can't tolerate Metformin for instance, but I have no issues with berberine, a few people might experience minor gastrointestinal discomfort while they adjust it but nothing like the stuff that you very often see with Metformin.
So the dosage here is similar, 1000 to 2000 mg a day, and 1500 mg of Metformin is comparable to 1500 mg of berberine, for instance. Berberine has additional health benefits beyond Metformin, including promoting intestinal health and healthy lipid levels.
The most exciting thing that you can take to raise AMPK that we've discovered so far is something called gynostemma pentaphyllum, also known as Southern Ginseng. Ginseng has been shown to reduce blood sugar modestly, but this is not your normal ginseng, and its antidiabetic properties are much more potent, particularly the way it increases AMPK.
So in studies, gynostemma has been shown to be superior to not only Metformin, but any other antidiabetic medication, prescription or supplement, and reduces A1C by about twice as much as your typical diabetes med, without side effects.
This showed very promising results in reducing excess liver dumping in rats, and they've done a couple of double blind human studies now, and A1C has been reduced by an average of 2%, an amazing amount, blood sugar readings are put down significantly, insulin sensitivity has been significantly improved, and all of this has been done not by looking to artificially circumvent things, but by restoring healthy AMPK levels, which is the most exciting part of all.
We've been brainwashed by big pharma to only pay attention to pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors though, anything else is just snake oil, but at least people these days do have the internet, and can go out and learn the real truth about a lot of things. Still though, there are few diabetics who even know about the benefits of berberine and far fewer who have ever heard of gynostemma, or know that creatine, a bodybuilding supplement, has been shown to work as well as prescription meds as well, as discussed in a recent article here.
The great thing about supplements are that you can pretty much stack these all you want, you could take creatine, berberine, gynostemma, and whatever else you like, and combine all the benefits without really needing to worry much about things like life threatening interactions or serious side effects, some meds do interact with supplements though so you need to be careful if you're on prescriptions and check this all out.
People an't dying from taking the stuff like they do with prescription meds, 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from this stuff, people's chronic diseases like diabetes made worse and worse instead of better, it's no wonder why I prefer natural supplements for my own treatment.