How SIRT1 can help you lose fat by suppressing adipogenesis

Cocoa, berries and red wine

Sirtuins are a group of body chemicals known for their anti-aging / longevity benefits, and the mast few years more and more studies examine their action against fat accumulation / overweight.

SIRT1 is the most important sirtuin and it's production is stimulated in the body by the plant chemicals resveratrol and pterostilbene, found in grapes, berries, red wine, cocoa and dark chocolate. 

In this new paper, published last week, it was shown that "SIRT1 acts as a crucial repressor of adipogenesis", i.e. SIRT1 stops the growth of new fat cells (contrary to the urban myth, the body continuously creates new fat cells as old ones die off). By halting the growth of new fat cells, it is possible to reduce adiposity and lose weight, as the excess fat is directed towards oxidation ("fat burning") by the body.

Other studies in the past have shown that resveratrol and pterostilbene may also have a direct lipolytic / thermogenic action on fat cells. In fact resveratrol and pterostilbene are also used in quality cellulite creams, due to their direct lipolytic action and their activity against fat cell growth and fat accumulation. Creams with high concentrations of these two chemicals are needed to replicate the amounts of resveratrol and pterostilbene used in studies.


Losing weight with resveratrol and pterostilbene

Of course, taking resveratrol or pterostilbene supplements or eating loads of blueberries is not a license to eat anything you fancy and expect to lose or not put on weight. In the end the excess calories will stimulate adipogenic (fattening) chemicals in the body which are much stronger than SIRT1. Between insulin and SIRT1, for example, insulin wins hands-down.

But if you follow a healthy diet and you exercise, SIRT1-stimulating foods and supplements, i.e. foods and supplements rich in resveratrol and pterostilbene, will help you make the most of your weight loss effort and and improve your overall health in the process.

Furthermore, continuous, lifelong consumption of SIRT1-stimulating foods, or resveratrol and pterostilbene supplements, may also help keep you younger for longer (SIRT1 is more known for it's longevity/anti-ageing properties than for it's anti-adipogenic action).

Of course, getting the majority of your resveratrol and pterostilbene from red wine and dark chocolate is not the same as getting it from blackberries and cocoa powder-enriched shakes and smoothies. So don't get too excited about indulging in wine and chocolate in order to stay young and lose weight - just keep to the berries :)



  • Paper: SIRT1 suppresses adipogenesis by activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling in vivo and in vitro
  • Abstract: Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) regulates adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation. However, the underlying mechanism should be investigated. This study revealed that SIRT1 acts as a crucial repressor of adipogenesis. RNA-interference-mediated SIRT1 knockdown or genetic ablation enhances adipogenic potential, whereas SIRT1 overexpression inhibits adipogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). SIRT1 also deacetylates the histones of sFRP1, sFRP2, and Dact1 promoters; inhibits the mRNA expression of sFRP1, sFRP2, and Dact1; activates Wnt signaling pathways; and suppresses adipogenesis. SIRT1 deacetylates β-catenin to promote its accumulation in the nucleus and thus induces the transcription of genes that block MSC adipogenesis. In mice, the partial absence of SIRT1 promotes the formation of white adipose tissues without affecting the development of the body of mice. Our study described the regulatory role of SIRT1 in Wnt signaling and proposed a regulatory mechanism of adipogenesis.
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