Have you heard of the anti-ageing enzyme, AMPK? This molecule is attracting a lot of attention when it comes to health benefits. Let’s explore how it works in the body and the easiest way to activate it to support healthy ageing.

What is AMPK?

AMPK stands for AMP-activated kinase, and is an enzyme found in the human body. Scientists who have studied AMPK describe it as a nutrient and energy sensor. It works to maintain the balance of glucose and lipid metabolism & how the body processes these nutrients.

The mechanisms of AMPK have attracted a lot of attention in the research world for metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and even cancer.


There are many properties and functions of AMPK, including:

  • Suppressing chronic inflammation (and therefore inflammaging)

  • Improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance – this also means it can reverse insulin resistance

  • Decreasing body fat mass

  • Suppressing inflammatory cytokines

  • Promoting autophagy – the process that allows for the regular turnover of cells in the body

  • Enhancing mitochondrial function – as mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells, this promotes energy production on a cellular level

  • Regulating immune function

That’s a pretty impressive list of actions for a single enzyme! But AMPK also acts on sirtuins, which is another way it could promote longevity and a longer healthspan.

In case you missed my previous blog on the benefits of sirtuins, they can:

  • Reduce stress

  • Protect against insulin resistance

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Repair DNA instability and damage e.g. from smoking or sun exposure

  • Boost memory

  • Increase exercise endurance

  • Reduce the risk of depression

  • Support optimal metabolism & help maintain a healthy body weight regardless of food intake

 So by activating your AMPK, you’re getting twice as many healthy ageing benefits!

How can I activate AMPK?

The research is ongoing when it comes to AMPK, but there are a few ways we know to activate it.

The first is to deprive your cells of energy, as this causes them to boost AMPK. You could practise fasting or restrict calories – in fact, the AMPK boost may explain why calorie restriction has been linked to a longer lifespan.

Exercise is also a way to increase AMPK. Both strength training and cardio exercise have been linked to increases in AMPK, as skeletal muscles need greater insulin sensitivity to fuel the movement. The higher the intensity, the greater the activation.

A tasty way to support AMPK is to increase your intake of soluble fibre, such as that found in oats and apples. Soluble fibre has been shown to act on AMPK activation in the digestive tract.

If you are on medication such as metformin for diabetes or PCOS, this is activating AMPK. In fact, it’s how the drug works to increase insulin sensitivity.

Then we come to my favourite molecule, NAD+. NAD activates AMPK production, as well as acting on sirtuins, mTOR and other anti-ageing mechanisms. Unfortunately, NAD production significantly drops with age, increasing the risk of age-related disease.


Simply taking NAD supplements is not effective, as the NAD molecule is too large to enter the cells. That’s where precursors that convert to NAD are the better option.

The precursor with the most human data and clinical trials to date is NR. Research shows that NR supplementation can increase NAD levels by up to 60% in middle-aged and older adults.

This is why NR is the star ingredient in my innovative new supplement, Energy Glow NR. If you’re looking for a simple way to support your NAD levels and sirtuin activation, learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.