Lipoprotein Lipase Important for Fat Burning

Lipoprotein lipase important for fat burningJanuary 7th, 2010 – Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is an enzyme that breaks apart fat (triglycerides) into their fatty acid components for transport and use inside cells.

An increase in lipoprotein lipase activity means an increase in the flow of fatty acids into the cell.  An increase in LPL activity in muscle cells means they will use more fat and less sugar for energy, which is a good thing if you are trying to stay lean.  An increase in LPL activity in fat cells, however, will mean increased fat stores.  There are many factors involved in the regulation of LPL activity, but two big contributors are the hormones insulin and testosterone.

Insulin increases LPL activity in fat cells, while decreasing LPL activity in muscle cells.  (1) Anything that drives up insulin (mainly dietary carbohydrates) will increase the flow of fatty acids into fat cells for storage and cause muscle cells to burn sugar instead of fat.

Testosterone also has a regulatory effect on LPL activity in muscle. Lipoprotein lipase activity in the fat cells of the abdominal region is greater in men than in women, and reduced testosterone levels only increases activity.  Keeping testosterone levels high, however, works to reduce LPL activity in the male abdominal fat cells thus discouraging fat storage in this area. (2)

References –

1. Lipoprotein lipase regulation by insulin and glucocorticoid in subcutaneous and omental adipose tissues of obese women and men.

Fried SK, Russell CD, Grauso NL, Brolin RE.

J Clin Invest. 1993 Nov;92(5):2191-8

2. Good Calories Bad Calories

Gary Taubes

Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 397-399

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