The Skinny on Metabolism

Metabolic disorders include high blood pressure, elevated fasting glucose, and increased abdominal fat. When a patient has multiple metabolic disorders, they are said to have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome affects about 23 percent of adults and puts them at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other complications.1 A recent study, led by Bridget M. Hron of Boston Children’s Hospital, looked at three different diets (low fat, low glycemic, and very low carbohydrate) and their impact on different hormones as well as their relationship with metabolism.   The largest change was seen with Fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF-21, especially in response to a very low carbohydrate diet. FGF-21 is secreted by the liver and thought to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease body weight. However, higher levels of FGF-21 are associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity, which leads to a hypothesis that there is some resistance to its effect. In addition, there are several other hormones affected by diet, including Chemerin, a hormone that regulates thermogenesis and adipocyte differentiation decreases with weight loss. Irisin, a polypeptide that can convert white fat into brown fat, has levels that are inversely related to weight, with decreased levels observed in obese persons. Ghrelin levels, which stimulate hunger, increase with weight loss. On the other hand, levels of Peptide-YY (PYY), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), and amylin decrease with diet-induced weight loss. The authors also concluded from the study that a very low carbohydrate diet can lead to a decreased preference for sugary foods.2

            Another study, led by Rashmi Supriya of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, looked at the effects of yoga on metabolic syndrome. They found that patients that practiced yoga experienced decreased proinflammatory adipokines (chemerin, leptin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and visfatin), and an increase in an anti-inflammatory adipokine (adiponectin).3


  2. Hron et al., Nutrition & Metabolism, 14 (44), 1 (2017). Retrieved from
  3. R. Supriya et al., Scand J Med Sci Sports, 00, 1 (2018). Retrieved from
Industry News , Biologically Active Peptides , Diabetes

Denise Karounos

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Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.