Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

The Exercise Hormone That Boosts Weight Loss

November 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

While you cannot out-exercise a bad diet, it still plays a huge role in achieving ultimate health. Exercise has so many positive influences on your physiology, that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint its individual benefits. Research has recently shown that irisin, a fat burning hormone that is released during exercise, not only aids your body in shedding fat, but also prevents it from forming.

Irisin works by helping your body turn white fat cells into brown cells. Additionally, it increases the amount of energy that is used by these cells, which helps to burn fat. Irisin is able to reduce fat cell formation by up to 60%. While your body typically produces irisin in small quantities, exercise boosts its production.

Improved Heart Function

Research shown that irisin has several beneficial health effects, such as its ability to reduce arterial plaque buildup, increase the metabolic rate in the thickest layer of the heart muscle, and increase mitochondrial biogenesis.

Irisin Can Improve the Diagnosis of PCOS

Irisin can be used as an indicator for polycystic ovary syndrome in teenage girls. This allows doctors to more easily diagnose PCOS and provide earlier treatments.

PCOS affects 10-20% of women who are of reproductive age, making it the most common endocrine and metabolic disease for this demographic. While many symptoms of PCOS involve the ovaries, the disease results from a much more complex metabolic issue. People suffering from PCOS often do not ovulate, have increased androgen production, are obese, experience hair loss, and have hyperinsulinemia.

High Levels of Irisin in Teens with PCOS

Studies have shown that teenagers with PCOS have significantly higher levels of irisin. This is then associated with elevated levels of testosterone. With further research on the exact role of irisin in PCOS, researchers will hopefully be able to improve and expand treatment options.

One treatment strategy is to make weight loss efforts by dramatically reducing your carbohydrate intake. Because insulin resistance is a main issue in PCOS, reducing the consumption of added sugars can help control the disease.

Brown Fat Benefits

As previously mentioned, irisin seems to play a key role in weight loss that is associated with exercise. When it transforms white fat cells into brown fat cells, the fat cells then burn energy instead of storing it.

Researchers who have studied animals estimate that only 50 grams of brown fat are able to burn about 20% of your daily calories, which can be significant in weight loss. Research has also shown that certain subsets of people have more brown fat cells than others, for example: thin people have more brown fat cells than obese people, younger people have more than older people, and people with normal blood sugar have more than people who suffer from high blood sugar.

Irisin is a type of myokine, which is a chemical messenger or protein that is derived from muscle. Research has shown that exercise is the most effective way to boost the production of myokines. Myokines are not only anti-inflammatory, they also may play a role in fighting against metabolic syndrome and cancer. Some other benefits of myokines include:

  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Increases the use of glucose by the muscles
  • Decreases fat in adipose fat cells
  • Increases fat burn
  • Inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines

    Diet is an important factor in giving the correct body tissues a competitive advantage. By consuming inflammatory foods like trans fats, sugar, and processed foods, no amount of exercise will let your body create enough myokines counteract the effects of an unhealthy diet.

    However, in combination with a nutritious diet, one of the best ways to boost myokine production is by practicing high-intensity strength training. High-intensity strength training provides the same benefits of high intensity interval training, including the cardiovascular benefits, and it also brings on a fast and deep level of muscle fatigue. This triggers the synthesis of myokines.

    Consider Your Diet

    Exercise is a great strategy to lose weight and improve overall health. However, the main key to weight loss is a healthy diet. It is also important to manage when you eat. Intermittent fasting can be beneficial to weight loss. As for specific foods to eat, the two key components for shedding fat are reducing net carbs and increasing healthy fats.

    It may be difficult to keep track of the carb, fat, and protein ratios of all of your food, so it may be helpful to use a nutritional tracker.

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Frank Salvatore