What is autophagy?
“Car” means me, and “phagy” means eating.
Thus, Autophagy (or autophagocytosis), literally means “self-eating”, and is a natural regulated mechanism of self-preservation of body cells by which the body removes unnecessary or damaged elements, and allows the proper decomposition and recycling of cellular elements in order to regenerate into new, healthy cells.
Although the word “self-eating” itself may sound like something you never want to happen to your body, it is actually beneficial for your overall health.
The purpose of autophagy is to self-regulate health back to optimal performance. This is simultaneous recycling and cleaning, just like pressing the reset button on the body.
In addition, it promotes survival and adaptation in response to various stressors and toxins accumulated in our cells.
What are the health benefits?
It seems that the main advantages of autophagy come in the form of an anti-aging principle. In fact, autophagy is best known as the way the body turns the clock back and creates younger cells.
when our cells are stressed, autophagy increases to protect us, which helps to extend your lifespan.
In addition, in times of famine, autophagy maintains the body by decomposing cellular material and reusing it for the necessary processes.
At the cellular level, the benefits of autophagy include:
- removal of toxic proteins from cells attributed to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
- recycling of residual proteins
- provides energy and building blocks for cells that could still benefit from repairs
- promotes regeneration and healthy cells on a larger scale
How to naturally encourage “self-eating”?
Research suggests that autophagy can increase from activities that cause stress to cells, such as:
- Lack of nutrients due to prolonged fasting for two to three days
- Physical exercise, which can cause cell damage, triggering autophagy
- Certain diets such as a ketogenic diet deprive the body of carbohydrates
What diet or diet plan can boost autophagy?
Keep in mind that autophagy literally means “self-eating.” Thus, it is logical that intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet are known to promote autophagy.
Fasting is the most effective way to start autophagy.
Ketosis, a diet rich in fat and poor in carbohydrates, brings the same benefits of fasting without fasting, such as a shortcut that provokes the same beneficial metabolic changes, thereby not burdening the body with an external load, but gives the body a break to focus on its own health and repair.
In the keto diet, you get about 75 percent of your daily calories from fat, and 5 to 10 percent of calories from carbohydrates.
This change in calorie sources causes your body to change its metabolic pathways. For fuel, they will begin to use fat instead of glucose obtained from carbohydrates.
In response to this limitation, your body begins to produce ketone bodies that have a multitude of protective effects. Studies suggest that ketosis can also cause hunger-induced autophagy that has neuroprotective functions.
Low glucose levels occur in both diets and are associated with low insulin levels and high glucagon levels, and it is glucagon levels that drive autophagy.
When there is a lack of sugar in the body through fasting or ketosis, it brings positive stress that awakens and activates the processes for survival and regeneration.
One diet area that can also play a role in causing autophagy is exercise. According to one study, physical activity can cause autophagy in organs that are part of the process of metabolic regulation.
This may include muscles, liver, pancreas and adipose tissue.
Autophagy and weight loss
To use the power of autophagy to achieve the desired weight loss, you will need to follow some rules.
This means that you will be able to consume a well-planned diet every day only in a certain time frame. For the rest of the day, fast to allow the body to burn fat.
Autophagy for weight loss works on the principle that over a period of 8 hours you eat a high-protein diet, while the other 16 hours you let your metabolism break down and play what you have consumed.
Not only is autophagy great for addressing all your worries about how to lose weight, but it also helps you improve the health of your hair and skin.
However, before as you go into autophagy yourself, keep in mind that it is not advisable to move into it yourself.
You need a specialist to help you plan your meals, time, diet and workouts to make sure it’s balanced. You will also need guidance to make sure you drink the right amount of water, otherwise your body may accumulate toxins released during the autophagy process.
So ask your doctor or specialist if this is the right way to plan how to lose weight.
=> MORE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS
How long does autophagocytosis last?
Depending on the metabolism of the individual, significant autophagy can take two to four days of fasting in humans.
Autophagy is believed to begin when glucose and insulin levels drop significantly. Studies have shown evidence of autophagy after 24 hours of fasting, which peaks at about 48 hours of fasting.
Some studies have found autophagy in cultivated neutrophils of man (the most widespread type of immune cells in the blood) after 24 hours. There are, however, no definitive studies in humans that indicate the optimal fasting period to achieve autophagy.
However, do not try to accelerate the induction of autophagy without discussing this method with your doctor.
Menu that encourages autophagy
Some foods believed to encourage autophagy include the following:
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Red grapes and red wine
Autophagy and cancer treatment
Autophagy is paid great attention to the role it can play in the prevention or treatment of cancer.
Autophagy declines as we age, so this means that cells that no longer work or can harm are allowed to multiply, which is an M0 cancer cell.
Although all cancers start from some type of damaged cells, the body should recognize and remove these cells, often using autophagic processes. That’s why some researchers are considering the possibility that autophagy may reduce the risk of cancer.
Although there is no scientific evidence to support this, some studies suggest that many cancer cells can be removed by autophagy.
This is how the body monitors cancer villains. Recognizing and destroying what went wrong and starting a repair mechanism contributes to reducing the risk of cancer.
How intermittent fasting affects health
Autophagy will continue to attract attention as researchers conduct more studies on the impact it has on our health.
For now, nutrition and health experts point to the fact that we still have a lot to learn about autophagy and how best to encourage it.
But if you’re interested in trying to encourage autophagy in your body, she recommends adding fasting and regular exercise to your routine.
However, you should consult your doctor if:
- you’re taking some medications
- if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or want to get pregnant
- you have a chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes.
We caution you not to encourage fasting if you fall into one of the above categories.