Category Archives: Nutraceutical Research

AMPK – Master Regulator of Metabolism

Just as your car has a fuel gauge, your body does as well. It is the gene, AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), and it is commonly known as the ‘fuel gauge of the cell.’ AMPK is critical to the control (homeostasis) of energy in the cell and regulates an enormous number of cellular functions, including the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver, the generation of ketones, the ability to block the production of cholesterol, the manufacture of triglycerides, the stimulation of fatty acid oxidation and the uptake of glucose in our muscles, and the modulation of insulin secretion by the pancreas.

In short, AMPK is a master regulator of metabolism.

AMPK does much of this by controlling another important gene called MTOR, which you can learn about in my article on trehalose.  Trehalose regulates the cell-cleansing process known as autophagy. When MTOR is active, the cell tends to accumulate leftover proteins, which, like a factory that never takes out the garbage, can eventually begin to cause problems. Almost every bit of research on anti-aging strategies, from calorie restriction to exercise, finds its basis in the ability to enhance autophagy. AMPK is the jail keeper of MTOR. When AMPK is high, MTOR is low and the cell becomes much more metabolically active. Common pharmaceuticals, such as Metformin (Glucophage), work by enhancing AMPK, and have established themselves as core treatments for insulin resistance and adult-onset diabetes. This links back to anti-aging, as it is well known that these disorders accelerate the aging process; in fact, if a researcher wants to study the effects of accelerated aging, they usually work with diabetics.

Thus, keeping AMPK in tip-top shape should be a basic tenet of good health.

AMPK can be controlled in other ways besides drugs. For example, following the appropriate Blood Type Diet, with a focus on limiting sugar and dietary lectins that are problematic for your blood type, can help to modulate the receptors on the cell’s surface that trigger AMPK. These include several herbs, such as the Chinese medicinal Coptis chinenesis, which contains the alkaloid berberine, and Coleus Forskolin, and these ingredients are in El Dorado.

El Dorado is a perfect complement (a reliable fuel gauge) to following your personalized Blood Type Diet (the fuel). In stubborn cases of slow metabolism, I often combine it with Glycoscia and Deflect, as their effects are quite synergistic: Glycoscia adds the benefits of blocking the excess assimilation of carbohydrates in the gut, while Deflect helps to optimize things at the receptor level by blocking unwanted dietary lectins.

This protocol takes a bit of time to work. It is after all rehabilitation, not surgery. However, I have found that with continued usage my patients show much healthier blood sugar regulation and increases in muscle mass. This leads to much better results from their workouts. At the point where the system is finely tuned, your cellular fuel gauge is reading accurately, and your metabolism will tend to stay in its optimized form.

Asparagus Right for All Blood Types

Asparagus is available year-round, but spring is the best season for this nutritious vegetable.

 One of our favorite way to prepare this right for all blood types veggie is to broil them in the oven.  Asparagus is delicious to eat and easy to prepare.  The optimum growing season for this delicious vegetable is from February through June, so spring is the best time to enjoy it, whether as a stand alone vegetable, as an addition to risotto or pasta, and simply blanched and added to a favorite salad.  Asparagus is best cooked the same day it is purchased, however, it will keep, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Or, you can also store it standing upright in about an inch of water, covering the container with a plastic bag.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for asparagus, which is great to serve at a spring luncheon or dinner.

  • Asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil per pound of asparagus
  • Sea salt, to taste.


  1. Cut off woody end of asparagus (hold below blossom and end of stalk and bend the stalk gently as if folding, discard the cut end).
  2. Line a pan with foil and pre-heat broiler.
  3. Lay out the asparagus in a line on the lined pan and sprinkle with olive oil first then flake sea salt.
  4. Broil for 7-9 minutes, very close to the broiler coil then turn the asparagus over and broil for another 3-5 minutes (time depends on thickness of the stalk).

Simple and elegant . Enjoy!

Notes about the ‘asparagus smell in the urine’

We asked Dr. D’Adamo about the reputation asparagus has of imparting a sulfurous smell to the urine. This is what he wrote back:

There seems to be some debate about whether the ability to produce an odoriferous urine from eating asparagus is particular to some people or universal. This reaction is due to a chemical in asparagus (asparagusic acid) that is broken down into a group of related smelly sulfur-containing compounds. However the ability to smell the sulfurous compounds produced after eating asparagus may indeed vary genetically. Research seems to indicate that the single nucleotide polymorphism (‘snip’) near┬áthe OR2M7 gene (rs4481887/ AA) may dictate whether you can detect whether someone has eaten asparagus from smelling their urine. Regardless, these compounds are harmless (and may in fact be beneficial), so feel free to enjoy this wonderful vegetable.