Autophagy is a body function that helps us remain healthy. Even though the human body is stable, cells are damaged as a result of various metabolic processes. Our bodies are constantly under stress as we age, with free radicals causing more and more damage. Our cells are more vulnerable to damage and the effects of toxins.
Also, as the organism ages, metabolic processes slow down, the endocrine system and the structure of hormones change. In that case, the organism is also exposed to more significant stress, and specific changes occur.
Then he performs on stage autophagy. This process in the body helps our body get rid of damaged cells. Targets include active cells that have no role in the body. Cells that represent excess and also malignant cells.
The body needs to eliminate damaged, unusable and malignant cells because they can indicate inflammatory reactions or some severe diseases.
The word autophagy was coined several decades ago and consisted of two Greek words. The first is “auto” (meaning self), and the second is “page” (meaning to eat).
In recent studies, researchers have understood how our immune system’s complex part can affect our longevity, improve our immune system, our heart, and complete metabolism.
What is autophagy, and is it good or bad for you?
Autophagy is characterized as the ingestion of one’s own tissues in the course of a metabolic process resulting from starvation or various diseases. Autophagy is considered to be a defensive mechanism, according to scholars. As a result, the body responds to stress by attempting to defend itself.
Is autophagy excellent or bad for your health? She is definitely good! As I mentioned, you can consider autophagy as a form of self-devouring. This may sound scary, but this is a normal process of the body during which cells renew themselves. Autophagy is so helpful that it is the key to preventing diseases such as cancer, neuronal degeneration, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune disorders, and infections.
Autophagy many benefits help with aging. Autophagy uses waste produced in cells to make building material to repair and regeneration other cells.
Thanks to the latest studies, we know that autophagy cleanses the body and protects it from stress’s adverse effects. Scientists are still researching the way and processes of autophagy and how it affects the organism.
There are several processes involved in autophagy. Lysosomes are parts of cells that can destroy large damaged structures, such as mitochondria. These cell parts can also help transport these damaged cell parts to generate energy. The complete process is that the damaged material must first be transported by the lysosome, then reconstructed, and then used for a new purpose.
Types of autophagy in the cell
There are two forms of autophagy.
Microautophagy is a process that involves the direct separation of part of the cytoplasm by the lysosome membrane. Chaperone protein-mediated autophagy refers explicitly to proteins that carry a precise sequence of 5 amino acids (KFERK). These proteins are supported by a complex formed by a chaperone (hsc70) and co-chaperone (hip, hop, hsp40, hsp90, and bag1) proteins that direct them to the lysosome, where the lysosomal membrane-bound receptor (LAMP-2A) recognizes them and allows their translocation into lysosome lumen.
Finally, macroautophagy is the least selective form of autophagy. The entire portion of the cytoplasm containing organelles or degradable proteins separates into a vesicle formed by several membranes called autophagosomes. The origin of these membranes is not clarified, but we are talking about a process of elongation of the membrane structure called “preautophagos” (or phagophore). It will then combine with the lysosome by autophagosome to form an “autolysis” in which lysosomal enzymes can digest various ingredients. Thus, macroautophagy generates nucleotides, amino acids, and free fatty acids that can be reused to synthesize new macromolecules and energy (ATP).
Researchers have hinted at the most important good properties of autophagy for our body:
Providing building material and energy for cells.
Recycling of damaged proteins and waste
Regulation of the drive functions of cells, mitochondria, which serve to produce energy and can be damaged due to oxidative stress and anaerobic state of the cell due to physical exertion, disease, or the influence of certain hormones on cells and their receptors
Protects the nerve system and stimulates the development of new brain cells. Autophagy improves cognitive functions, brain structure, and neuroplasticity.
Autophagy promotes the growth and development of heart muscle cells. It also protects the heart from heart disease.
Improves and modifies the immune system by eliminating intercellular pathogens. It also reduces toxicity in the body and thus protects DNA.
Prevents damage to healthy tissues. It destroys cancer, fights neurodegenerative diseases.
There are several different types of autophagy. Science knows macroautophagy, microautophagy, and protective autophagy. Macroautophagy is a catabolic process by which vesicles are formed that swallow cellular macromolecules and organelles. This is the most commonly used form.
Autophagy is helpful to a range of animals, not just humans. Autophagy also occurs in plants, worms, flies, and other mammals. A lot of research with autophagy has been conducted on rats. Thirty-two genes associated with autophagy have been isolated. Research has continued, and their course is essential because, in this way, I can discover many new details related to this metabolic activity of the organism.
The link between autophagy and apoptosis
Scientists believe that autophagy is a selection when removing certain organelles, ribosomes, and protein aggregates from the human body. There is currently no information that autophagy or apoptosis (programmed cell death) regulates some other body processes. Some studies confirm the fact that autophagy is a mechanism of apoptosis.
One of the reasons researchers are interested in the connection between autophagy and apoptosis is that autophagy can treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Autophagy can act as a therapeutic process in the body, by which we purposefully remove unwanted cells and keep them healthy.
In the future, we can use the process of autophagy to protect cells and their renewal and destruction of cells that cause diseases and inflammation in the body.
Physiological roles of autophagy
Autophagy is a cause for immune surveillance, a process in which immune cells search for and recognize foreign organisms in the body, such as bacteria, viruses, and precancerous or cancerous cells. Immune surveillance is activated when autophagy facilitates ATP release from dying cells, which attracts myeloid cells’ attention, a critical part of the body’s immune system that is largely responsible for the body’s innate defenses. Various elements of the immune system, including inflammation, a key factor in the body’s inflammatory response. Immune control is crucial in suppressing tumor development. Its activation is a predictor of chemotherapy treatments’ long-term success and may explain the complex relationship between autophagy and cancer.
Autophagy can lead to longevity and health, according to an increasing body of evidence. Caloric restriction, a powerful inducer of autophagy, extends the lives of many animals and lowers the risk of various chronic age-related illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and brain atrophy – all of which may be attributed to autophagy’s beneficial effects.
Pathophysiological roles of autophagy
Failures in autophagy are associated with cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The common factor in all of these conditions is inflammation. Autophagy promotes proinflammatory mediators’ production, which can lead to inadequate immune activation and subsequent disease states.
While autophagy promotes suppression during tumor onset, it provides critical protection during tumor progression. In the early stages of cancer, the initial suppression of autophagy can help prevent the immune system from attracting unnecessary attention, but it can facilitate ongoing transformation. Autophagy may help cancer cells flourish in the tumor’s aggressive microenvironment in the later stages of the disease. Due to their ability to stimulate the autophagic response, cancer cell lines survive metabolic stress relatively well.
While autophagy is commonly thought to be a good thing, it may be harmful to people with autoimmune disorders. In rheumatoid arthritis, TNF-alpha, a pro-inflammatory cellular signaling protein, controls autophagy, promoting osteoclast differentiation, a type of bone cell that breaks down mineralized tissue in the joints, causing joint harm. Autophagy signaling dysregulation is also linked to lupus and Crohn’s disease.
Any pathogens have successfully evolved mechanisms to prevent autophagy. M. tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, commands autophagic systems by hiding within autophagosomes, destroying the pathogen’s breakdown processes. The bacterium can also interact with one of the phases in xenophobia, causing the body’s immune response to be disrupted. Similarly, the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV reduces the cellular level of key proteins involved in the induction of xenophobia.
Poor functionality in mitophagy is strongly associated with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction and energy deficits in the brain’s dopaminergic neurons. An increasing body of evidence suggests that mitophagy is compromised in Parkinson’s disease and promotes the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria. Impaired mitophagy probably contributes to the aggregation of misfolded proteins, which disrupts mitochondrial homeostasis.
How to enhance autophagy?
Autophagy is active in all cells, but it intensifies when food intake decreases. More precisely, we starve the organism. You can achieve this goal through exercise, physical activity, and reducing calorie intake. Both methods are associated with weight control, longer life expectancy, and the prevention of many age-related diseases.
When we use diet and adjust life habits to boost autophagy activity, the best trigger is fasting. The best dietary strategy is so-called intermittent fasting. Post has a straightforward concept: to stop eating for a certain period of time (you can still drink water during fasting or liquids like coffee and tea).
If you are unfamiliar with intermittent fasting, this type of cyclic diet includes time-restricted diet periods. Many different forms of intermittent fasting enhance autophagy, such as Alternative Daily Fasting, in which you limit your daily food intake between 4 and 8 days.
Studies have shown that fasting between 24 and 48 hours has the strongest effect, but this type of fasting is not feasible for all people. Try at least between 12 and 36 o’clock if the above figure doesn’t work for you.
The easiest way to achieve your desired goal is to eat 1 or 2 meals a day instead of much smaller meals. If you finish dinner at 6 or 7 o’clock, try to starve until at least 7 am the next day or even better, until 11 or 12 o’clock.
You can choose 2-3 days of fasting. It can even be longer when you become experienced enough and get your body used too fast.
The ketogenic or KETO diet is a diet with many healthy fats and a small number of carbohydrates, and this diet works very similar to fasting. The keto diet works by getting 75% of your daily calories or more from healthy fats. And only 5 to 10% of calories from carbohydrates. This affects your body so that there are some key changes in it. Metabolic pathways are beginning to use fats as fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates.
What types of food are most important if you are planning to start a Ketogenic diet? Use coconut oil for food, olive oil, eggs, peanut butter, meat from animals fed exclusively on grass, fermented cheese, avocado, smoothies, and pits. The fruit is also included because of the necessary fiber for the digestive tract and its vitamins and anti-oxidant properties.
In response to reduced carbohydrate intake, ketones will begin to be produced, which have many protective effects on your body. Studies have shown that ketosis can also activate autophagy, which has a neuroprotective function. In studies in rats, the keto diet activated autophagy activators’ metabolic processes, and on that occasion, brain injuries in injured rats were reduced.
Another good stress that can activate autophagy is exercise. Recent research shows that exercise can activate autophagy in various organs, including metabolic regulation of muscles, liver, and pancreas.
Exercise has many good sides. It is a form of stress because it destroys the tissue, causing its repairs and growth in a stronger form. It is not clear how much exercise enhances autophagy, but researchers believe it is best to boost autophagy.
Exercising for 30 minutes enhances autophagy in the skeletal and muscular system. Can we exercise during fasting? Most people can. You may also notice that you get a big influx of energy when you stop fasting, which can motivate you even more to exercise.
Safety measures during fasting
We learned a lot of things about autophagy through this text. By increasing autophagy through fasting and regular exercise, we achieve excellent results.
If you take certain medications to control your health condition, it is best to consult a doctor before you start fasting. For people who suffer from hypoglycemia or diabetes and pregnant women, breastfeeding should not fast. Anyone who has diseases such as cancer should consult their doctor before fasting.
Six phases of intermittent (and prolonged) fasting in autophagy.
By 12 o’clock, you have entered a metabolic state called ketosis. In this condition, your body begins to break down and burn fat.
The liver uses some of this fat to make ketone bodies. When glucose isn’t readily available, ketones or ketone bodies act as an alternative energy supply for your heart, skeletal muscle, and brain cells. Did you know that your brain consumes about 60% of glucose when your body is at rest? When you fast, the ketone bodies produced by your liver partially replace glucose as fuel for your brain and other organs. This use of ketones in your brain is one reason why fasting is often said to promote mental clarity and positive mood – ketones produce less flammable products because they are metabolized by glucose and can even trigger BDNF production! Ketones have also been shown to reduce cell damage and cell death in neurons and reduce inflammation in other cell types.
By 6 pm, you have switched to fat-burning mode and are generating significant ketones.
You can now start measuring your blood ketone levels above your baseline values. Under normal conditions, ketones’ concentration in your plasma ranges between 0.05 and 0.1 mM. When you fast or limit carbohydrates in your diet, this concentration can reach 5-7 mM.
As their bloodstream levels increase, ketones can act as hormone-like signaling molecules to instruct your body to speed up the body’s stress-reducing pathways that reduce inflammation and, for example, repair damaged DNA.
Within 24 hours, your cells increasingly recycle old components and break down the misfolded proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and other diseases. This is a process called autophagy.
Autophagy is an important process for rejuvenating cells and tissues – it removes damaged cellular components, including misfolded proteins. When your cells cannot or do not trigger autophagy, bad things happen, including neurodegenerative diseases, which occur due to reduced autophagy during aging. Fasting stimulates the AMPK signaling pathway while inhibiting mTOR activity, resulting in autophagy activation. However, this begins to happen as your glucose reserves are depleted, and your insulin levels begin to fall. Autophagy improves in starving mice after 24 hours, and this effect is amplified in liver and brain cells after 48 hours. In humans, autophagy has been detected in neutrophils starting with 24 hours of fasting. Exercise and calorie restriction by fasting can also increase autophagy in many body tissues.
Your growth hormone levels are up to five times higher after 48 hours of fasting or fasting with minimal calories, carbs, or protein (Hartman et al., 1992).
The ketone bodies formed during fasting, for example, speed up the secretion of growth hormone in the brain, which is one reason for this. Ghrelin, the appetite hormone, also stimulates the growth hormone secretion. Growth hormone aids in preserving lean muscle mass and the reduction of fat accumulation, particularly as we get older. It also tends to contribute to mammalian lifespan, as well as wound healing and cardiovascular health.
Your insulin has fallen to its lowest level after your fast at 54 hours, and your body is getting more insulin sensitive (Klein et al., 1993).
Lowering insulin levels has health benefits, both short-term and long-term. Decreased insulin levels inhibit insulin and mTOR signaling pathways, activating autophagy. Decreased insulin levels can reduce inflammation, make you more sensitive to insulin (and/or less resistant to insulin, which is especially good if you have a high risk of developing diabetes), and protect you from chronic aging, including cancer.
By 72 hours, your body breaks down old immune cells and generates new ones (Cheng et al., 2014).
Fasting for a long period decreases IGF-1 levels in the blood and PKA activity in various cell populations. Insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, is a protein that behaves like insulin and stimulates nearly every cell in the body. IGF-1 stimulates cell survival and development by activating signaling pathways such as the PI3K-Akt pathway. The mTOR pathway can also be activated by PKA (and, interestingly, too much caffeine during fasting can promote PKA activation).
Let’s see where this goes: limiting nutrients and fasting will put the brakes on IGF-1 and PKA, causing cell survival pathways to be rejected and old cells and proteins to be broken down and recycled. Long-term fasting (more than 48 hours) decreases IGF-1 and PKA, resulting in stress tolerance, self-renewal, and proliferation of hematopoietic or blood cell stem cells in mice. In chemotherapy patients, extended fasting for 72 hours has been shown to retain a healthy amount of white blood cells or lymphocytes.
Seven important questions and answers about autophagy
What is autophagy?
Autophagy is a body recycling program and is essential for every cell. When the autophagy procedure is carried out efficiently, you will feel more energetic, agony, clearer, the skin will begin to take on a youthful glow. Autophagy is an amazing natural cell rejuvenator and is very effective. Autophagy stops accelerated aging and, at the same time, helps you feel and look better.
What natural substances enhance autophagy?
Although coffee enhances autophagy, there is also a simple and delicious way to get up without a caffeine rush. Combine one bag of green tea with one bag of citrus bergamot tea, as well as one tablespoon of raw coconut oil with a cinnamon stick. This drink warms the body. It can be drunk at any time of the day. This drink’s effects are burning fat, improving brain function, strengthening immunity, and making the skin glow.
Citrus bergamot is one of the most powerful and healthy autophagy activators available. It protects the heart, and green tea polyphenols such as EGCG stimulate autophagy and a process called thermogenesis (calorie burning rate). Cinnamon is neuroprotective and can protect cells from damage and cancer. Coconut oil increases the level of ketones, which have been found to have anti-autophagy so that you feel fulfilled at the same time.
How does fasting on autophagy work?
Autophagy is activated when cells go through a certain amount of stress. It has been proven that limiting calorie intake induces a process that helps cells become stronger and longer-lasting by conserving energy. One of the simplest ways to start autophagy is fasting. Practicing fasting does not mean that you have to starve. To trigger autophagy is to be without food for 16 hours. You can achieve this if you eat an early dinner and skip breakfast or have breakfast later than usual. If you apply it for only three days in a row, the body activates autophagy, giving the cells a chance to rest and cleanse any waste and toxins accumulated in the body.
How to start autophagy outside and inside?
OMI’s patented cell rejuvenation complex consists of premium ingredients that have been clinically proven to activate autophagy. The ingredients are citrus bergamot, ceramide, trichlose, and caffeine. Although each of these ingredients individually will do wonders for your complexion, including renewing the skin barrier, increasing moisture, and reducing inflammatory processes. Together, these ingredients are much more powerful, improving the skin’s nutrition, which it needs for youth and radiance.
Do I increase autophagy by training?
Studies show that in just 30 minutes of exercise, autophagy is caused in the heart and bone muscle cells. One of the easiest ways to do this while still reaping all of the other fitness advantages is to engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This training includes exercising at short intervals and resting. By repeatedly pressing on your anaerobic threshold, you amplify the effects of autophagy and improve mitochondria’s health in cells. You can apply this way of exercising during any activity that you normally perform, such as swimming, running, or brisk walking.
How does resveratrol enhance autophagy?
Resveratrol is a super powerful polyphenol found in the skin of red grapes, peanuts, and berries. Many studies have shown that resveratrol works wonders for the human body. It prevents cognitive functions’ decline by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation in the brain. Resveratrol also activates sirtuins that increase metabolism, improve the cardiovascular system’s health, and contribute to weight loss. You will benefit from small doses of red wine. It is most effective to take resveratrol 1000 mg daily as a dietary supplement. It is combating damage from toxins in the atmosphere. Resveratrol accumulates collagen in the skin and keeps the skin firm and wrinkle-free.
What are the main benefits of autophagy?
The main benefits of autophagy come from the basic principles of its anti-aging action. Autophagy activates the organism’s rejuvenation, destroying old cells and promoting the development of new young cells. When the cells are under stress or are damaged, the effect of autophagy is disturbed.
Fasting and starvation are leading to a stronger activation of autophagy and the decomposition of damaged cells.
At the cellular level, autophagy helps by:
– removes toxins and proteins from cells associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
– recycles proteins
– produces energy and building material for the repair of damaged cells and the construction of new young cells
– on a wider scale, it promotes the regeneration and health of the complete cell system
Autophagy can successfully treat cancer, and a regulated diet combined with autophagy can reduce cancer activity.
Since all cancers actually start from mutated cells, autophagy can have a preventive effect on cancer’s possible development in the body. With the help of autophagy and the immune system, the organism has the ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
Researchers believe that the use of autophagy should be combined with other anti-cancer therapies and that in this way, you can achieve extraordinary results.
Over time, autophagy increases researchers’ interest in discovering the increasing benefits the organism has. Research is expanding to various other areas.
For now, nutrition experts emphasize that autophagy is still an under-researched area and that much more information needs to be gathered to know what exactly amplifies it and what are all the positive aspects of this metabolic process.
For the organism to adapt to autophagy, it does not need to be immediate and extreme. It is best to gradually introduce fasting and exercise as a routine and get used to it over time.
If you’re taking certain drugs, have a chronic condition like diabetes or heart failure, or are breastfeeding, talk to a doctor.
Share your experience with autophagy, ask a question or answer a question in the comments.