Extend Your Life With the Newly Discovered Hormone: FGF21
Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 turns out to be key to regulating our metabolic and vascular health.
This translates into improved weight control, less fat, and longer life.
Fat monkeys injected with FGF21 lost up to 27% of body fat – with NO reduction in how many calories they ate.
In mice, FGF21 increased life expectancy by 30% to 40%. That’s comparable to caloric restriction – but these mice got to eat as much as they wanted.
What is FGF21
It’s a hepakine – a hormone secreted by your liver. It helps regulate our intake of sugar and preferences for sweet foods.
A genetic variant of FGF21 is strongly associated with having a sweet tooth and high sugar consumption, in people as well as mice.
However, it does help regulate our metabolisms by inducing adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing hormone. Insulin insensitivity is what puts us at risk of weight gain and diabetes.
In the liver, FGF21 activates PGC-1a – which induces mitochondrial biogenesis. That is, FGF21 helps create more mitochondria – energy powerhouses – in your cells.
Some researchers believe FGF21 is a mediator protecting us from cancer, autoimmune disorders, obesity and diabetes.
According to one study, FGF21 acts primarily by blunting the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 in your liver. We know high amounts of protein spike human growth hormone and IGF-1. While we need these hormones in moderation to repair our bodies, too much growth stimulus is associated with cancer – cells growing out of control.
Overall, FGF21 is associated with reducing your appetite, regulating your metabolism so you burn energy instead of storing it as fat and prolonging life.
Naturally, Big Pharma Wants to Sell It to You
Unfortunately, our bodies break FGF21 down rapidly. Its half-life is just 1 – 2 hours.
Therefore, they’re looking for look-alike medicines that do accomplish the same result, so they can sell it to us.
However, although some seem to work in the short run, they may have adverse long-term health risks.
Natural Ways to Raise Your FGF21 – No Injections or Prescriptions Required
This should be no surprise. Exercise improves metabolic health and reduces body fat. By itself, that’s not earth-shattering news.
Still, it’s good to see exercise accomplishes these health improvements not just by burning calories – the simplistic mainstream story – but by increasing our levels of FGF21.
Now we know exercise is not just about burning calories. It directly alters metabolism, making it easier for overweight people to lose weight.
Both resistance and aerobic exercise increase levels of FGF21 versus the couch-potato lifestyle.
According to research carried out by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, the best diet for optimal FGF21 is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. The study was conducted by feeding mice diets mixing fat, protein and carbohydrates in a wide variety of proportions.
Their research apparently didn’t study differences in food nutrition or in complex versus simple processed carbohydrates.
Because a diet of simple sugars and highly processed carbohydrates is strongly associated with obesity and out of balance metabolisms, and that appears to affect FGF21.
There’s another argument for eating complex carbohydrates – whole plant foods – to increase your FGF21.
Participants in one study showed a 42% decline in FGF21 levels when put on a keto diet for three months.
Studies show FGF21 is induced by the short-chain fatty acid butyrate – and butyrate is produced in your large intestine when you feed your gut plenty of fiber.
And where do we get lots of fiber from? Whole plant foods, especially whole grains and beans.
A low protein diet also dramatically increases your FGF21 – in one study participants saw a 150% increase in FGF21 in four weeks just by eating only the government-recommended amount of protein.
For Example Experts in the government recommend men consume around 56 grams of protein per day. In reality, on average, American men eat over 100 grams. All the study participants had to do to increase FGF21 was cut their protein consumption down to the recommended 56 grams per day.
This apparently is the reason why medical research shows lower intake of protein is associated with increased insulin sensitivity – and longer life.
Older generations of people living on Okinawa were some of the longest-living people in the world – and, in those days (not anymore), their diet averaged 9% protein and 85% carbohydrate.
In one study, obese diabetic patients were put on 24 weeks of various diets and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). They all showed an increase in FGF21 – except for the group eating a high-fat diet.
Therefore, it appears a high-fat diet neutralizes the positive benefit of exercise.
Going without food for 7 to 10 days markedly increases your body’s response to FGF21 – increasing your levels of FGF21 4X.
This is serious fasting, and you should not undertake this by yourself. You should have a serious reason – and medical supervision.
It’s much easier to eat low protein, high fiber, high carbohydrate whole plant foods – including the spice . . .
4. Eat turmeric or take curcumin supplements
(NOTE: The whole spice turmeric contains curcumin, along with other nutrients, but some people take curcumin along as a separate supplement.)
Admittedly, this comes from a mouse study.
Researchers fed mice curcumin, and their FGF21 levels rose in just 4 to 8 days.
Also, mice fed curcumin over longer intervals suffered less FGF21 resistance.
People who’re obese and/or diabetic often have high FGF21 resistance.
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