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Introduction to Adiponectin

Adiponectin is released in the bloodstream from fat cells, where it is involved in the control of fat metabolism and regulating glucose levels [R].

This protein hormone helps suppress metabolic derangements which leads to type 2 diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and low levels is an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

Adiponectin may play a role in cell growth, the formation of new blood vessels, and tissue remodeling by binding and sequestering various growth factors [R].

Adiponectin stimulates AMPK, which is a pathway involved in cellular energy homeostasis [R, R2].

It also enhances glucose utilization and fatty-acid combustion in the liver and the muscle [R].

Adiponectin reduces and blocks the effects of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha [R].

It also inhibits NF-kB signaling through the cAMP-dependent pathway [R].

Overall, adiponectin plays an important part in our body as a messenger to communicate between adipose tissue and other organs. It has an important role in metabolism and homeostasis, protects cells from apoptosis, and reduces inflammation in many cell types [R].


  • Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Having a high level of adiponectin may offer protection against getting diabetes for postmenopausal women [R].
  • Adiponectin can help prevent obesity and its metabolic effects [R].
  • Elevated levels of adiponectin is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer [R].
  • It was found that lower levels of adiponectin could lead to non-small cell lung cancer [R].
  • Lower levels of adiponectin are associated with colorectal cancer [R].


  • Adiponectin levels are associated with kidney diseases [R].
  • Excess levels might lead to heart enlargement [R].

Conditions With Lower Adiponectin

  • Obesity [R].
  • Diabetes.  Levels of adiponectin are reduced in diabetics in comparison to non-diabetics and might be a useful marker for diabetes [RR].
  • Asthma [R].
  • Preterm babies: babies that were born premature are found to have lower serum adiponectin levels than babies that were carried to full term [R].
  • Mechanisms: TNF (R), IL-6 (R), IL-18 (R), CREB (R), transcription factor 3 (R),

Adiponectin and Autoimmune Disease

Adiponectin is considered a key adipokine in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and related complications, especially cardiovascular diseases. In these metabolic conditions, circulating adiponectin is reduced. It is now well known that adiponectin has beneficial effects on endothelial cells and endothelial function and is also cardioprotective. Unlike metabolic diseases, systemic autoimmune and chronic inflammatory joint diseases are characterized by increased production of adiponectin. There is evidence to suggest that adiponectin may be related to disease activity and/or severity in different conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoarthritis (R).

Adiponectin is highly expressed in the inflamed joint tissue and correlates closely with progressive bone erosion in Rheumatoid arthritis patients (R).

Adiponectin can increase the Th1 and Th17 immune responses, which leads to autoimmunity (R, R).

In a mouse model of arthritis, adiponectin injection resulted in an earlier and more severe onset of arthritis, an aggravated arthritic progression, bone erosion and osteoporosis.  Th17 cells, IL-17, IL-22, IL-23 and RANKL (R).

However, in a different model of brain inflammation, adiponectin inhibited Th17 immunity (R). Additionally, Th1 and Th2 cytokines were lower in people with higher adiponectin who had metabolic syndrome (R).

It seems like whether adiponectin causes inflammation or reduces it will depend on other biological factors and will be different for different people.

Ways Adiponectin Can Increase

The concentration of adiponectin increases when calories are restricted such as in eating disorders [R].

  • DHA (R, RR)
  • Glycine (R),
  • Curcumin (R),
  • Ginseng (R),
  • Exercise [R].
  • Mediterranean olive oil diet: it was found that a diet that includes olive oil prevents adiponectin downregulation [R].
  • Mechanisms: PPAR gamma (R), FoxO1 (R), C/EBPα (CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α) (R), Macrophage polarization is a regulator [R].

Adiponectin on SelfDecode

You can download your genome on SelfDecode to see if abnormal Adiponectin levels could be affecting your health.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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  • joan

    According to an article, adiponectin prevents aging of skin and dermal fat layer. Chinese sweet tea apparently reduces fat cell size so more is created. Finding the extract (Rubus suavissimus Shugan Lee) online is difficult although plenty of wholesale ingredient suppliers sell it to food manufacturers as a sweetener for processed food. It says older fat cells, which are larger,secrete palmitic acid which causes wrinkles and skin sagging. Comments? Where to buy extract?

  • Maddy

    I wonder how the different oligomers affect it’s function. there is high molecular weight, which they think is most abundant and also most potent. Mid and low molecular weight I think. I think it was Johns Hopkins which developed a test which shows the ratio of H/M/L molecular weight adiponectin predict active migraine and severity. So how does ADQ affect CGRP and Substance P?
    There is also some link to vitamin D levels and efficacy of ADQ. And also low glutathione correlation to low adiponectin (hypo).

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