Autophay – We all want wellness, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, or simply “curious about your well-being”, you probably have some kind of control over the essentials such as a clean diet, good sleep, movement and relaxation regular.
This holistic approach is the way to feel good and live well as long as possible. But there is another piece of the puzzle that is beginning to receive well-deserved attention. That is autophagy.
Auto-what? Scientists have known this since the 1960s, but it is now beginning to flourish in public consciousness in part because of recent discoveries about the mechanisms for autophagy of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi.
But outside the lab, what does autophagy mean to you? For starters, better health, for longer, with one side of slow aging. Sounds good? Next, we present an introduction to this wonder of well-being:
What is autophagy? Is it good or bad for you?
The definition of autophagy is “the feasting on the body’s own tissue as a metabolic process that occurs in starvation and certain diseases.” Researchers believe that autophagy is a survival mechanism, or a way in which the body responds intelligently to stress to protect itself.
Is autophagy good or bad for your health? It’s definitely good! As mentioned earlier, you can think of autophagy as a way of “self-eating”, which may sound quite scary, but it is actually your body’s normal way of carrying out cell renewal processes.
In fact, autophagy is so beneficial that it is now called “key in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, liver diseases, autoimmune diseases and infections.”
Autophagy has many anti-aging benefits because it helps to destroy and reuse the damaged components that are produced in the vacuoles (spaces) within the cells.
In other words, the autophagy process basically works by using the waste produced inside the cells to create new “building materials” that help in the repair and regeneration.
Thanks to recent studies, we now know that autophagy is important to “cleanse” the body and defend against the negative effects of stress. However, scientists continue to emphasize that the exact way autophagy processes work is just beginning to be understood.
There are several steps involved in autophagic processes. Lysosomes are a part or cells that can destroy large damaged structures, such as mitochondria, and then help transport these damaged parts to be used to generate fuel.
To summarize a complex process: the damaged material must first be transported to a lysosome, then deconstructed and then spit out to be reused.
Among the great bonuses, autophagy helps:
- regulate inflammation, increasing it as necessary to fight pathogens, decreasing it as necessary, so that cells do not remain in an inflamed state indefinitely, which suppresses chronic inflammation
- promote brain health and protect against Alzheimer‘s, Parkinson’s and dementia by eliminating deformed proteins whose accumulation is associated with the development of neurological disorders
- combats infectious diseases, eliminating microbes that cause diseases inside cells, eliminating toxins, regulating inflammation and helping to maintain strong immunity
- prevent metabolic dysfunction, such as diabetes and obesity, promoting cellular health and turnover
- increase muscle performance, replacing cells that have been worn out or “stressed” by exercise, with fresh and healthy cells
When you gather all these benefits, you are facing one of the most powerful anti-aging packages that anyone could ask for: a healthier brain, a balanced metabolism, less chronic inflammation, stronger immunity and stronger muscles.
Ways to Harness the Anti-Aging Power of Autophagy
Of course, autophagy is happening all the time in your cells, but there are several natural and healthy ways in which you can help increase the process of “taking out the garbage.” Here are certain ways you can help turn on the autophagy incinerator:
- Eat more spices that are autophagy-friendly, such as curcumin, ginger, ginseng
- Drink tea to increase autophagy, such as green tea and ginseng tea
- Excavate foods that stimulate autophagy, such as coconut oil, mushrooms, lentils, green peas and pomegranates.
- Enter a regular (but not excessive) intermittent fast, which, in part due to the lack of incoming nutrients, stresses the body and stimulates autophagy despite the temporary nutritional decline.
- Try a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet: by reducing carbohydrate intake, cells are forced to use fat as fuel, which causes the body to become ketosis, a switch that helps increase autophagy, In addition to helping reduce and reduce body fat risk of diabetes
- Add some aerobic exercise: for example, walking hard, running, swimming, all exercise good tension in the body and, in doing so, increase the autophagic heat.
- Do not forget to have a good quality sleep, in case you need one more reason to fill up: autophagy also occurs during sleep, so rest and let your cells clean the cobwebs while you sleep.
- Add supplements that support autophagy, including omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, MCT oil
- Running hot and cold – as in the alternate sauna or steam room with cold showers; Both heat and cold stress the cells, promoting autophagy.
While our scientific understanding of autophagy continues to evolve, the conclusion is that the behaviors that support autophagy, such as good diet, sleep, movement, and supplement programs, are good anti-aging health habits that we should all practice. Service to our bodies every day, right now!
Humans are not the only species that benefit from autophagy. In fact, autophagy has been observed in yeasts, molds, plants, worms, flies, and mammals. Many of the research to date on autophagy has involved rats and yeast.
At least 32 different genes related to autophagy have been identified by genetic selection studies. Research continues to show that the autophagic process is a very important response to hunger and stress in many species.