Everything You Need to Know about Adiponectin

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Adiponectin is a protein found to have associations with metabolic processes. Initial studies suggest that this protein is associated with processes such as regulation of glucose level and breaking down of fatty acids.

Adiponectin is produced by adipose tissue*, along with co-members in the group of proteins called adipokines. Latest medical reports linked adiponectin with health and disease. How significant is that linkage is yet to be known.

*Adipose tissue is composed of fat cells.

Diseases

Preliminary research assumed that low levels of adiponectin may be an indication of a dysfunctional adipose tissue. What is clear, however, is the strong linkage and association shown between the protein and some major types of diseases.

It has been found that people with cancer, heart disease, NAFLD, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases have low adiponectin levels. A causal relationship between these diseases and adiponectin also remains to be discovered.

Increasing Adiponectin Levels

Increasing adiponectin levels is possible in both humans and animals. It was shown that animals, particularly those with atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes, benefit from adiponectin injections.

In humans, weight loss and thiazolidinediones treatments are some of the ways to increase the concentration of adiponectin. Diet changes can also help.

  • Omega-3 supplements – Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids increase adiponectin in people with coronary artery disease.
  • Increase of fiber intake – Fiber and fish oil support healthy levels of adiponectin.
  • Increase in consumption of spices – Several spices can help people lose weight. An example is curcumin which is also believed to have the ability to up-regulate adiponectin.
  • Cutting the amount of monounsaturated fats; replace with saturated fats

Manufacturers of adiponectin supplements claim more benefits from increasing adiponectin levels. These are improved insulin function, faster burning of calories, decreased appetite and increased muscle efficiency.

Function

Adiponectin, aside from acid oxidation and glucose regulation functions, perform several roles. It is secreted only by adipose tissue, although it is produced by the placenta among pregnant women. Effects of adiponectin in bodily processes include:

  • Among patients, there is an inverse relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and adiponectin. The higher the adiponectin level is the lower is the BMI. No such correlation has been found among healthy adults.
  • Caloric limitations in animals and humans result to increased adiponectin levels. This has been noted most especially on people with suffering from anorexia nervosa. In a research, it has been found that the increase is caused mainly by adipose tissue that is located in bone marrow.
  • In combination with the protein leptin, adiponectin counteracts insulin resistance. The combination however causes synergistic effects.
  • Scientists found that adiponectin acts on the brain and they think that this is the method by which it reduces a person’s weight.

Concentration Levels

Adiponectin has the highest concentration among all proteins in the blood. About 0.01% is adiponectin, suggesting that there are many other plasma proteins in far lower concentrations in the blood. The concentration of adiponectin is 2 – 30 milligrams per liter of blood.

Among adults, females have higher concentrations than males. Diabetics have lower concentrations. As mentioned earlier, weight reduction increases adiponectin concentrations.

The half-life of adiponectin in humans is 2.5 hours.

Chemical Structure

Adiponectin
This is the chemical image of this protein

The basic structure of adiponectin is a 247 amino acid protein. It has four domains: a carboxyterminal globular domain, a collagenous domain, a nonconserved variable region and an amino terminal signal sequence.

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Adiponectin and AMPs

AMss

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