Does taking AMPK (activated protein kinase) do anything?

Recently I’ve seen a ton of ads and other things about taking AMPK supplements. They range from ‘deep fat’ reduction to life extension. I figure it’s probably the standard snake oil, but was curious what 'dopers thought about it. As a further GQ question, why has this come up so much lately? Is this the new snake oil fade or something? Or has it been around a long time and I’m just noticing it lately?

“This product is not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease, but buy it anyway.”

It’s a viable field of research, but effective, proven supplements? Nah.

It’s an enzyme. A protein enzyme. When you swallow a protein - ANY protein - it gets broken down to its constituent amino acids by your digestive system. If your body was dumb enough to allow a fully intact, active protein from the outside world into itself willy-nilly, we’d have all died ages ago.

So, sounds like more snake oil. I wonder why I see so many ads for it lately, though could just be the next crystal woo that is trending. Thanks for the answers both of you. :slight_smile:

And yet, some ingested proteins do have biological effects on the body.

What’s the M stand for in the acronym?

I think it stands for AMP activated protein kinase, at least that’s what Google says. Here is the headline form a Google search:

AMP-activated protein kinase
Synopsis. AMP-activated protein kinase ( AMPK ) is a phylogenetically conserved fuel-sensing enzyme that is present in all mammalian cells.

AMP is adenosine monophosphate. It’s the ultimate breakdown product of ATP, therefore high AMP levels are a signal that the cell should take in more glucose and fatty acids. These have the energy needed to phosphorylate AMP to become usable ATP again.

The physiology is sound, but most proteins that enter the digestive tract will get proteolyzed beyond the point of serving their original function.

That is NOT how babby is made!

I do have a few followup questions:
Does AMPK occur naturally in the body, within each cell?

Setting aside that whole “digesting enzymes into inert protein” thing :woman_mage: by waving a magic wand, let’s say you could eat the stuff and have it stay active.
Wouldn’t that only infuse (or whatever) the AMPK into the cells immediately surrounding your digestive tract?

Or is the substance blood-borne?

To be clear, I’m not stating that this particular protein survives the digestive tract. That’s something that I don’t know at all. I’m just saying that it’s clearly possible somehow, given things like prions.