What is Autophagy? 

Autophagy is an essential process in our body that helps to maintain homeostasis, protect against disease, and promote longevity. It is a natural process of cellular recycling, where the body breaks down and recycles its cells, proteins, and organelles to maintain an optimal metabolic rate and promote healthy aging. Making better health and well-being decisions is possible when we understand how autophagy works. In this article, we will discuss how autophagy activates our body and the benefits it provides for us

Autophagy is quality control for the cells. It recycles and removes cell debris, which reduces the burden of toxins and enhances the performance of the cells. It protects the cells of our body and makes them more efficient. Autophagy has an indirectly proportional relationship with aging and longevity. As we age autophagy decreases in our body and leads to the build-up of cellular junk. However, if we accelerate autophagy it slows down the aging process and keeps us healthy for a longer duration.

Autophagy is activated in our body when we are fasting or under stress or caloric restriction, and it can help us to slow down the aging process. By reducing the amount of food we eat, our body starts to break down its cells for energy. This process helps to reduce the accumulation of damaged proteins and other cellular waste products that can cause aging. Additionally, autophagy helps to regulate inflammation and may even protect us from certain diseases like cancer. Autophagy is linked, to numerous health benefits, such as improved immunity, increased longevity, and enhanced cellular repair.  It is believed to be one of the key factors in slowing down aging and promoting overall health. But how much fasting is required to start autophagy?

The answer depends on the individual, as everyone's body responds differently to fasting. Generally speaking, it takes between 12-16 hours of fasting for autophagy to begin. This means that you should avoid eating for at least 12 hours before you start your fast. During this time, your body will begin breaking down old cells and toxins, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. During the eating window, certain foods may be able to activate autophagy, including high-protein foods like lean meats, fish, and eggs; healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds; cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage; fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi; antioxidant-rich fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates; green tea; dark chocolate; spices such as turmeric and ginger; garlic; onions; mushrooms. Eating these types of food in moderation can help stimulate autophagy in the body.

Besides fasting and caloric restriction, autophagy can also be activated by exercise and supplementing with certain compounds. Recent studies have shown that rapamycin and resveratrol can help activate autophagy in the body, leading to improved health outcomes. Rapamycin is an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent organ rejection after transplantation, while resveratrol is a polyphenol found in red wine and certain plants. Both of these compounds are effective at activating autophagy in the body, leading to improved health outcomes. 

Exercise is an effective way to activate autophagy, as it increases the production of certain hormones and proteins that are involved in this process. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training are particularly effective for activating autophagy. Additionally, regular aerobic exercise can also help to increase autophagy levels, as it helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Further Resources:

  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2023/01/12/Can-we-transform-ourselves-with-Epigenetics-Neuroplasticity
  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2022/11/03/How-to-boost-Immunity
  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2022/11/03/Intermittent-Fasting
  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2022/11/03/Can-meditation-changes-our-brain
  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2022/11/03/Breath-Deeper-Perform-Better
  • https://rewriteandrelive.in/blogs/index.php?post/2022/11/03/How-to-be-successful
  • https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/promote-the-aging-process
  • https://www.thehealthy.com/aging/healthy-aging/slow-down-aging/
  • https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/blog/how-to-slow-down-the-aging-process-10-steps-you-can-take-now
  • https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/july/anti-aging
  • https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/autophagy
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990190/