If you ever find yourself feeling drowsy around mid-day, you need to know about adiponectin.
Adiponectin is a substance that is already in your body. It is a hormone that plays a key role in helping to regulate your blood sugar. When a mid-afternoon brain fog hits, it usually means your blood sugar is taking a nose dive. That could mean that you don’t have enough adiponectin in your system.
Why haven’t you heard of this before?
Scientists are just starting to learn about adiponectin. They only discovered it in 1995. Since then, researchers have shown that higher adiponectin is associated with lower body fat.1 They’ve proven that it can keep your blood sugar stable.2 It helps your body utilize insulin better.3 And it can improve energy levels.
The problem is that we didn’t know how to effectively raise adiponectin levels – until now.
The Mushroom Connection
Asian cultures have prized mushrooms for centuries. They have been cultivated as food and medicine. They didn’t know why the mushrooms had such healing properties. They didn’t understand the chemical compounds in them. They just knew they worked.
In 1960, a Japanese researcher named Furumoto came across a mushroom growing in Brazil. The Brazilians called it the Sun Mushroom. But the species was unfamiliar to Furumoto and his colleagues in Japan. He soon began to cultivate this mushroom. He also sent it to Japan so that it could be studied. A German researcher later classified it as Agaricus blazei.
When Mr. Furumoto died, interest in the Sun Mushroom faded. Then, in the 1990s, Japanese researchers found that it has anti-tumor properties. Since then, considerable research has been directed toward Agaricus blazei. This research revealed that it’s also associated with reduced body fat, greater energy levels and more stable blood sugar.
How did it do that?
By increasing levels of adiponectin.4
Lessons Learned from the World’s Fattest Mice
A recent experiment shows just how important it could be to naturally increase adiponectin levels.
Dr. Philipp Scherer led the research at the University of Texas.5 In his experiment, a group of mice were deprived of the hormone leptin. This hormone is critical to appetite control. Without leptin, the mice ate practically non-stop. In fact, they grew to an astonishing five times the size of a normal mouse. Every single mouse in this experiment developed diabetes.
Then, the researchers performed the same experiment with another group of mice. These mice were genetically engineered to produce about three times the normal amount of adiponectin. These mice also ate until they became grossly obese. However, none of these mice developed diabetes.
How did adiponectin protect the mice?
According to Dr. Scherer it is because of where their fat was stored. The control mice stored fat in and around their organs, including the liver and the heart. This can lead to inflammation, diabetes and heart disease. The mice that produced extra adiponectin stored most of their fat just under the skin.
These mice were still morbidly obese. But they were sensitive to insulin and had normal blood sugar levels. And they didn’t develop disease.
“The message isn’t that it’s good to be obese,” said Dr. Scherer. But when it comes to fat, “it’s a little bit like real estate… location, location, location.”
Now we know why not every overweight person develops damage from high blood sugar. But a lot of thin people do. It could be related to where their fat is stored. And the difference might be adiponectin.
Adiponectin, Energy and Brain Function
So, let’s get back to that afternoon slump…
When it comes to energy and brain function, glucose levels are everything. The neurons in your brain can’t store glucose. So they need a steady supply coming in at all times. Too much blood sugar is very damaging. But too little will leave you running on fumes. Stability is crucial.
This was tested by researchers at Yale. They were looking at how rats performed in a maze. Then they compared this to glucose levels in their brains. The scientists noted that young rats are able to supply all the glucose their brains need. They were able to easily manage the task. For the older rats, the glucose supply to the brain practically vanished once the task became difficult. This made it harder for them to complete the maze.
Steady blood sugar levels are critical for your energy, as well as your ability to think and solve problems.
And adiponectin helps to keep those levels stable. By increasing your sensitivity to insulin, it helps clear excess sugar from the blood faster. This can prevent the damage associated with insulin resistance. And it also helps keep those levels stable. And that means you’ll have plenty of energy and brain power to spare… with fewer slumps and mood swings.
Scientists don’t understand exactly what causes adiponectin levels to rise and fall… and how we can control the process. But we do know that the Agaricus blazei mushroom can help. Its effect on adiponectin and blood sugar levels is well documented.
This mushroom is not widely available as a culinary item here in the United States. But it is widely available as a nutritional supplement and can be found online.