Adiponectin is a protein hormone that is only produced and secreted by adipocytes, or fat cells. It is used to regulate the metabolism of glucose and other lipids by heightening how fast the body breaks down fat cells, and influences how the body responds to insulin.
Adiponectin is a member of the adipokine family, which also includes the proteins leptin, properdin and adipsin. It allows the body's muscles harness energy from carbohydrates and curbs an individual's appetite. The less fat an individual has on his or her body, the more adiponectin is released from adipocytes. The more adiponectin is in an individual's bloodstream, the lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack.