AMP-activated protein kinase plays an important role in the regulation of lipid metabolism in response to metabolic stress and energy demand. It is also under endocrine control. AMPK acts at multiple steps and has a central role controlling fatty acid, triglyceride, and cholesterol synthesis, as well as the oxidation of fatty acids through direct phosphorylation effects and the control of gene transcription. As such, it can be considered to be the fat controller of the energy railroad. It is thought that AMPK may be a major mediator of the health benefits of exercise in mitigating the development of obesity and age-onset diseases.