Topic: metabolic syndrome, green tea, weight loss and the ampk

Topic: Metabolic syndrome, green tea, weight loss and the AMPK connection

This week you learned about the components and enzymes involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and in the formation of fat.

As you work on this week’s discussion board assignment, consider the following:

  • Over the past decades, overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes have  become major health issues in the U.S. and many other countries. Those  conditions, often referred to as metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the  scientific literature have a strong connection to the western diet rich  in monosugars and fats.
  • The metabolic syndrome is a complex of symptoms that include  elevated waist circumference, elevated serum triglyceride levels,  dysglycemia, elevated blood pressure and reduced HDL-associated  cholesterol. While numerous drugs have been developed to improve the  symptoms associated with MetS, such as metformin, rosiglitazone, etc.,  anecdotal reports and many scientific studies have reported that regular  consumption of green tea and compounds found in green tea, most namely  polyphenols, have beneficial effects on body weight and the metabolic  syndrome.
  • Some metabolomic studies strongly indicate that green tea extract  supplementation leads to increased lipolysis and fat oxidation. Some  scientists propose that the AMPK enzyme might be the key mediator of the  beneficial effects of green tea on the MetS.

This week:

  • Please read the following scientific review article: Yang  C.S., Zhang J., et al. Mechanisms of body weight reduction and  metabolic syndrome alleviation by tea. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2016  Jan;60(1):160-74.
  • Do some further supplemental research on NCBI Pubmed ( on this week’s topic.
  • Then engage in a discussion with your class mates where you should try to address the following:
    1. Which metabolic pathways have been brought in connection with MetS? Are those increased or decreased in MetS patients?
    2. Which hormones have been brought in connection with MetS? Are the  levels of those mentioned in scientific literature increased or  decreased in MetS patients?
    3. What are the chemical properties of the green tea polyphenol EGCG?
    4. Which role does AMPK play in the complex metabolic syndrome picture? Is it up- or down regulated?
    5. What is the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress in MetS?
    6. Discuss the latter aspect with respect to the chemical properties of  the green tea polyphenols and redox regulation of the AMPK enzyme.
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