Triglycerides: High Glycerol Phosphate Makes You Store Fat


December 8th, 2009 – We’ve all heard that carbs make you fat.  When we eat carbohydrates our bodies release insulin, a storage hormone that takes the sugars entering the blood stream and stuffs them into our cells.  What you may not have heard, however, is that on top of insulin, carbs have a unique ability to increase blood triglyceride levels and make us store it as fat.  This ability comes in the form of a simple molecule called glycerol phosphate.

The fat stored in our fat cells is made up of triglycerides.  Triglycerides are composed of three (tri) fatty acids bound to a single glycerol molecule. Glycerol phosphate is a key component in the process of binding free fatty acids together to form triglycerides, as it provides the glycerol backbone that the fatty acids bind to.

Glycerol phosphate is a byproduct of carbohydrate metabolism (by glycolysis).  The more glucose broken down for energy, the more glycerol phosphate we have available, and the more free fatty acids can be bound together to form triglycerides and stored as fat.  In fact, the rate at which the body assembles fatty acids into triglycerides largely depends on the availability of glycerol phosphate.  (1)

References –

1. Good Calories Bad Calories

Gary Taubes

Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 388-389


Carbohydrates Negatively Effect Growth Hormone

boost GH levelsWe’ve all heard that growth hormone (GH) does a ton of great stuff for our bodies including burning body fat, increasing protein synthesis, increasing nitrogen retention, and decreasing protein catabolism. (1) This means more muscle, less fat, and a happier, healthier, sexier you. So how can we maximize the effects and release of growth hormone we get in response to strenuous exercise?

Keep your post workout carbohydrate levels in check.

When we exercise, blood glucose and insulin levels decrease, and GH levels increase. GH levels can remain this way for an hour or more. (2) However, as soon as blood glucose and insulin levels rise, GH levels will drop back down, as insulin acts to suppress GH secretion. (3) Keeping carbohydrate intake to a minimum after exercise will keep blood glucose and insulin levels down and GH up for a longer period of time.

How do you boost GH levels and keep it elevated after a workout? Consider protein instead of carbs for your post workout nutrition!

References –

1. Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete: The Anabolic Edge
Mauro G. Di Pasquale
CRC Press 2008 Pages 27-28

2. Plasma insulin, growth hormone, and blood sugar during exercise in man
Sawhney RC, Malhotra AS, Gupta RB.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1982 Apr-Jun;26(2):119-24

3. Good Calories Bad Calories
Gary Taubes
Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 390-391

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