Is Adiponectin The Best Belly Fat Burning Hormone?


Is adiponectin the best fat burning hormone? There is research to back up the hormone’s fat burning efficacy, and insulin effects, but the best? “In contrast to leptin, a related hormone, adiponectin can cause weight loss by raising metabolic rate while not affecting appetite.” – University of Pennsylvania

Hormones are your body’s powerful powerful regulators. They’re chemicals that cause, change, or effect nearly every body process, including metabolism, fat burning, muscle building, and overall metabolism. Trust me, you want them on your side. Manipulating hormones to help burn fat and gain muscle is essential to maximize success of any fat loss or muscle building program.

Fat Fights Back

One of the key reasons? Unlike other body tissues, adipose tissue (fat) has a mind of its own. Fat fights back when you try to get rid of it! Really, it’s not your imagination. Sounds like the mob, right?

Many hormones regulate body processes affecting obesity. Adioponectin does a number on fat metabolism and blood sugar. We’re finding out it may be the the most important of fat burning hormones. It’s a protein secreted by adipocytes; fat cells to those of us who didn’t slog through years of med school.

A funny thing happened on the way to obesity. While adiponectin is actually produced by fat cells, scientists discovered overweight people actually produced less of it. Wrap your brain around that one.

An adiponectin study from Robert R. Henry et al, at the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, at the VA San Diego Health Care Systems summarized fat’s power:

Recent research has shown that adipose tissue is not simply an inert storage depot for lipids but is also an important endocrine organ that plays a key role in the integration of endocrine, metabolic, and inflammatory signals for the control of energy homeostasis

The study, published in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association found important adiponectin has powerful fat metabolism and insulin resistance implications. The researchers discovered significant interactions between the hormone, obesity, and insulin resistance. This inlcudes intra-abdominal fat, commonly known as belly fat. (Really, who wants to say “intra-abdominal fat” anyway?)

“The strong inverse correlation between serum adiponectin levels and intra-abdominal fat mass may in part underlie the link between visceral fat and insulin resistance.”

In their conclusion, the team hinted at adiponectin’s power, saying:

Although further investigations are required, adiponectin administration, as well as regulation of the pathways controlling its production, represents a promising target for managing obesity, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and vascular inflammation.

What Do Strength and Conditioning Professionals Say About Adiponectin?

Since adiponectin is a relatively new discovery, results are still rolling in. As with any new medical development, it will likely take years before the sports medicine community agrees on all its effects. Early research is exciting, though.

Doug Dupont wrote an interesting post at on the hormone. Calling it “The Magical Fat Burning Hormone” (I’d probably add a question mark to that), he referenced a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning that showed high intensity interval training (HIIT) did not significantly increase the hormone’s level or decrease body fat percentage. Doug pointed out however, that the study’s methodology could be biased, so the results may be inaccurate. He did agree with researchers that more study is needed here, though.

Thankfully, There is Research!

Those white coats have been busy! A placebo controlled, double blind study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food “Efficacy and Tolerability of an Herbal Formulation for Weight Management” showed that subjects receiving the test blend demonstrated a significant, 22.5% increase in serum adiponectin levels, compared with the control group. Did the hormone increase have some affect on the study group’s fat loss, or was it a result of it?

How Can I Raise Adiponectin Levels?

It seems so simple; if elevated adiponectin levels correlate to decreased body fat levels, just raise it. Yeah, and if you’re feeling a bit low on cash, just make more money. It’s not always that easy. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology does seem to show diet can influence adiponectin levels in your body, which may help metabolize fat, and lower body fat levels.

Some of the foods they found to possibly help raise levels include:

  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • fish oil
  • safflower oil
  • grape-seed extract
  • green tea
  • taurine
  • resveratrol

Reservatrol? Get out the red wine! Seriously, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to have other positive health

Is Coffee an Adiponectin Booster? Recent research indicates good news for coffee addicts!

Coffee - Belly Fat Hormone Adiponectin Booster

Is Coffee an Adiponectin Booster? Recent research indicates good news for coffee addicts!

and fat loss effects, too. Raising adioponectin levels may simply be one way it helps to do that. Read my CLA post here to discover more on how CLA helps you and how to boost it in your body.

One other substance found to raise adiponectin levels? Good old Joe! A 2011 Japanese study found that your Starbucks habit may not just be a way to flush $10 a day. The study discovered that coffee consumption, especially in early mornings, correlated to elevated adiponectin levels. Interestingly, that study found green tea had no such powers, contrary to some other published info. The cool thing? My adioponectin levels are rising as I write this!

Adiponectin – Is it the Best Belly Fat Burning Hormone?

My opinion? I’m not really educated enough to know. Many researchers in labs throughout the world are trying to answer the question now. While adiponectin is proven to have significant impact on the body, including insulin resistance and belly fat levels, there is likely no one “best” belly fat burning hormone.

Your body is a highly complex system (understatement of the year award candidate) where one seemingly small change can set off a cascade of others. Think for a moment about how a relatively tiny dose of a chemical compound can cause significant changes or even death. Hormones are in the same ballpark. A little dab’ll do ya.

While the jury is still out on whether adiponectin is the “best”, it is definitely a hormone that bears watching on your fat loss journey. I’ll keep you up to date on new developments. One thing’s for certain though, there is likely to be no shortage of supplements claiming to be adiponectin boosters. You can take that one to the bank….