Getting to Know Adiponectin

There can be many barriers along the journey towards weight loss and better health. Have you ever stopped to think how your adiponectin levels may be contributing to your weight loss plateau?

Think of adiponectin as the hormone that tells your body to burn fat for fuel. Multiple studies have concluded the more adiponectin you have the more fat your body will burn. Alternatively, research concludes that low levels of adiponectin are associated with a higher prevalence of obesity.

The tricky factor about adiponectin is the more fat you have, the lower your levels are which may be why losing weight can be difficult and occur at a slower rate. You may even have a genetic predisposition to low adiponectin in which working with your healthcare provider is necessary towards increasing your levels. You can test your genetic predisposition to low adiponectin by taking a genetic test. Once you understand your genetic predisposition you can then compare to your current level of adiponectin with a blood test. Testing adiponectin and treatment should be conducted under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

The Mayo Clinic has given the following reference ranges for adiponectin measurements in the blood.

Body Mass Index Adiponectin mcg/mL
Body Mass Index <25 Males 4-26
Females 5-37
Body Mass Index 25-30 Males 4-20
Females 5-28
Body Mass Index >30 Males 2-20
Females 4-22

What now? There have been several studies to suggest how you can increase your adiponectin levels. A study concluded long-term adherence to a Mediterranean diet supports adequate adiponectin levels (1). The Mediterranean diet includes mainly fruits and vegetables, seafood, nuts, olive oil and hearty grains. Another study concluded fish oil supplementation to be associated with a moderate increase in the mean adiponectin level (2). Consult with your healthcare provider for supplementation recommendations. Managing your weight can also increase your adiponectin according to a study. This study concluded weight loss increased adiponectin levels in the range of 18-48% (3).

The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel. Simple lifestyle interventions involving nutrition and exercise can get you on your way towards better health and weight loss.


References

  1. Fragopoulou E, Panagiotakos D, Pitsavos C. The association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and adiponectin levels among healthy adults: the ATTICA study. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2010: Volume 21, Issue 4 , 285 – 289.
  1. Wu JHY, Cahill LE, Mozaffarian D. Effect of Fish Oil on Circulating Adiponectin: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;98(6):2451-2459. doi:10.1210/jc.2012-3899.
  1. Silva F, Almeida J,Feoli A. Effect of diet onadiponectinlevels in blood. Nutrition Reviews. 2011 Oct;69(10):599-612.