Fat Cutting: Lipogenesis and Lipolysis

Fat Cutting: Lipogenesis and Lipolysis

We look at the enzyme processes that actually contribute to cutting fat levels called lipolysis and lipogenesis. These processes use stored fats for energy when you are fasting.

LAST UPDATED: June 2019 by Ben.

Lipogenesis & Lipolysis

When wanting to cut fat, do you know the differences between Lipogenesis and Lipolysis?

There are many words banded around for terminology regarding fat, obesity, weight gain, fat burning and cutting.

However, very little is ever really detailed about the processes.

Lipogenesis is the biosynthesis (also known as anabolism) which involves a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process of fatty acids and triglyceride combination from glucose for instance.

It can include other substances whereby enzymes grow.

This is a process that happens mainly in your liver. However, it may also take place within the fat.

On the other hand, Lipolysis breaks down stored energy in fats for energy if you are currently in a state of fasting or are exercising.

It is a process that destroys and disintegrates lipids such as fats and cholesterol which are stored in fatty tissues and the muscles.

This aids cutting fat. [1]


There are also hormonal factors which play a part in the regulation of this breakdown of fat.

Testosterone is one as is estradiol which is produced by the ovaries during the period between females hit puberty and the menopause.

You may have heard about glycerol and free fatty acids which are the end product of lipolysis and are then available for energy.

Insulin, can block the effects and actions of lipolysis, in turn it then increases the process of lipogenesis.

There’s also the factor of SREBP-1 to take in to account…

Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 depends on insulin for fatty acid and cholesterol production.

As such, it is better to have a lower concentration of insulin in order to help the process of lipolysis which is better for fat cutting. [2]

Fat Cell Receptors

There are two receptors involving fat cell, fat accumulation and fat available for energy expenditure.

“a” receptors support lipogenesis .

“β” receptors support lipolysis.

Remember, lipolysis supports fat cutting.

Adrenaline has a role of stimulating both fat cell receptors. However, as we age, the “β” adrenergic receptors are reduced.

As a result, this increases the amount of fatty tissue which in turn forces a higher response from the “a” receptors in fat cells.

This, then, increases the fatty tissue more so which becomes more evident as people become older which makes fat cutting more difficult to achieve. [3]

Adrenaline is part of the family of neurotransmitters consisting of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and L-dopa which fall under the name of catecholamines which are released as a result of stress from the nervous system. 

These catecholamines have an effect on “β” receptors which in turn speeds up metabolism which burns more calories and effects your intake of fats and carbohydrates. [4]

Fatty Tissue Metabolism

Other receptors to bear in mind are: Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors.

The nuclear receptor has an affect on metabolism of fatty tissues and they also influence the maturing and diversifying fat cells.

These activated receptors influence the process of lipolysis. [5]

It is worth remembering that estrogen, the female sex hormone, reduces the lipolysis yet increases lipogenesis which will have a negative effect on cutting fat.

Testosterone, on the other hand stimulates lipolysis by increasing the number of lipolytic b-adrenergic receptors which results in a more effective hormone to cut fat.

As a result, both men and women can use an effective natural test booster in order to help reduce their body fat mass. [6]


Hormones have an effect on the way our body uses and stores fat.

Testosterone increases the metabolism of fat cells which stimulates the process lipolysis which reduces fat levels.

Testosterone also lowers the levels of insulin which is also advantageous for fat burn, therefore, increasing testosterone can contribute to your levels of fat.


[1] Wolf G. The mechanism and regulation of fat mobilization from adipose tissue: desnutrin, a newly discovered lipolytic enzyme. Nutr Rev. 2005;63:166–170

[2] Siemińska L. Endokrynologia Polska. Polish Journal of Endocrinology. 2007;58:330–347.

[3] Martini MC. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL; 2007. Kosmetologia i farmakologia skóry; pp. 300–309.

[4] Skałba P. Receptory, hormony płciowe, leki stosowane w hormonalnej terapii. In: W: Skałba P, editor. Hormonalna terapia zastępcza. Wyd. II. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL; 2005. pp. 88–50.

[5] Ciupińska M, Noszczyk M. Kosmetologia pielęgnacyjna i lekarska. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL; 2010. Pielęgnacja ciała. Częste problemy estetyczne i zdrowotne sylwetki i skóry ciała; pp. 189–209.

[6] International Journal of Obesity (2000) 24, Suppl 2, S59±S63

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Lipolysis and Lipogenesis
Article Name
Lipolysis and Lipogenesis
The enzyme processes that contribute to fat loss

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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