3 Easy Ways to Increase FGF21 & Why you should Care

This week we're looking into a super hormone secreted by the liver that helps regulate energetic pathways in health and disease called FGF21. FGF21 is the acronym for 21st documented fibroblast growth factor.

This amazing hormone has been proposed to be a mediator of protection from diabetes (by reducing blood glucose levels), cancer, obesity (as it regulates carbohydrate and lipid metabolism) and autoimmune diseases. No small feat!

Here are 3 easy ways to increase FGF21 blood levels:

1) Reduce protein intake. It has been shown that even just a reduction from the typical overconsumption of protein down to the recommended daily amount (46g p/day for women) can double FGF21 levels in the blood.

2) Eat starchy foods. Ex - brown rice, quinoa, beans and legumes (note that I didn't mention white rice, potato chips or fries - sorry ladies!). The fibre from these foods feeds the good bacteria in our gut, which produces a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. The butyrate then induces FGF21 in the liver to stimulate the use of fatty acids for energy. We'd all like to burn more fat for energy yeah? ;)

3) Fasting has been hailed as one of the best ways to prolong longevity for over a century. Researchers have not been able to identify the main reason for this. It is now thought that FGF21 is the missing link. Levels of FGF21 have been shown to drastically increase during periods of fasting and starvation. This is because it is involved in the adoption of the metabolism during these times. Original studies involved fasting for long periods of time. We now know that extreme starvation is not necessary and that we can instead fast for 10-24 hours and achieve the same results. 

Being secreted by the liver, it highlights the importance of keeping your liver healthy and assisting it with detoxing, whether you feel your body is overloaded, or you just like to keep on top of your health. Cleansing is one way to help your liver keep up with life's toxic demands. Following a cleanse with a fasting plan is a fantastic way to continue supporting your liver to detox and increase your FGF21 levels! And as all of our products are vegan and nutritionist designed, you can rest assured that you won't be overindulging in protein on your cleansing or fasting days :)

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