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Adiponectin is an adipokine protein and hormone which is mainly released from fat cells – although levels are inversely proportional to the amount of body fat.
It has anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages, endothelial tissue, epithelial tissue and muscle cells and it consequently has important cardiovascular and pulmonary protective effects. Adiponectin also increases insulin sensitivity.
Higher than normal levels of adiponectin are associated with being underweight, anorexia nervosa and difficulty gaining weight.
Low levels are linked to obesity, lipodystrophy, insulin resistance, increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.