Fasting with Autophagy – How to Renew the Cells in Your Body with Detox
If you are restricting your calorie intake for an extended period of time, you can use autophagy to fast and activate it. It appears to have some notable health benefits. These include weight loss, changes in risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, and living longer. For years, researchers have been trying to figure out why fasting is linked to longevity. Laboratory mice and monkeys that participate in laboratory studies tend to live longer than their regularly fed peers.
Detoxification with autophagy fasting
What exactly is autophagy? The word comes from the Greek auto (self) and phagein (to eat). So the word literally means to eat yourself. Essentially, it is the body’s mechanism to get rid of all broken and old cellular mechanisms (organelles, proteins, and cell membranes) when there is no longer enough energy to sustain them. It is a regulated, orderly process to break down and recycle cell components.
Research results show that calorie restriction activates genes that instruct cells to conserve resources. The cells go into a preservation or “starvation mode” in which they are remarkably more resistant to disease or cellular stress. You also enter into a process known as autophagy. The body begins to clean the old, unwanted and unnecessary cell material and to “repair and recycle” damaged parts..
In one study, mice showed high numbers of autophagosomes after 24 hours. These were signs that the test animals fasted with autophagy and that this also works. Now we have to be careful to link this directly to humans, since the metabolism of the mouse is much faster than ours. Although autophagy is very difficult to measure outside of a laboratory setting, many experts agree that this process occurs in people after an 18 to 20 hour fast. However, they only achieve maximum benefit after 48 to 72 hours.
If that sounds scary, keep in mind that intermittent fasting can still bring you benefits. However, periodically (a few times a year, depending on your personal risk factors), consider a longer fasting period if you want to activate full autophagy. This enables you to do spring cleaning for your body, which can renew cells. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before starting your fast.
Diet for weight loss through autophagy
There is a similar, better known, process called apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. Cells are programmed to die after a certain number of divisions. While this sounds macabre at first, you should be aware that this process is fundamental to maintaining good health.
Cells get old, and it is better to let them die when their useful life is reached. It sounds really cruel, but that’s life. This is the process of apoptosis, in which cells are set to die after a certain period of time. It’s like renting a car. After a while you will get rid of the car, regardless of whether it is still working or not. Then you get a new car. You don’t have to worry about it breaking down at the worst possible times.
Stimulation and autophagy fasting remove several unwanted cellular materials and proteins. You also support the production of growth hormones, which regenerate fresh cell material and promote cell renewal. For example, if your body recently had an infection, autophagy can potentially destroy bacteria or viruses.
So autophagy is not only linked to increasing longevity, but also helps researchers better understand degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. When the process does not take place frequently, the body collects a large number of cellular material. These include proteins that are present in large quantities in many diseases and even cancer: amyloid beta or tau protein. The researchers believe that prolonged bouts of autophagy could cleanse the brain of these excess proteins, potentially preventing the development of these diseases.
Autophagy – replacing old parts of the cell
The same process also takes place at the subcellular level. You don’t necessarily have to replace the entire car. Sometimes all you have to do is replace the battery, discard the old one, and install a new one. This also happens in the cells. Instead of killing the entire cell (apoptosis), only some parts of the cell are replaced. This is the process of autophagy, in which subcellular organelles are destroyed and replaced with new ones to renew them. Old cell membranes, organelles and other cell debris can be removed. It does this through signals sent to the lysosome, a specialized organelle that contains enzymes, to break down proteins.
Autophagy was first described in 1962 when researchers found an increase in the number of lysosomes (the part of the cell that destroys the material) in rat liver cells after the infusion of glucagon. The scientist Christian de Duve, who was awarded the Nobel Prize, coined the term autophagy. Damaged subcellular parts and unused proteins are marked for destruction and then sent to the lysosomes to finish the work.
How can you fast with autophagy?
While drug companies are working to create a pharmaceutical panacea to stimulate autophagy, some diet and fitness bloggers claim that certain nutritional supplements can activate autophagy. However, there is only one proven way to trigger this: through fasting. Nutrient deprivation triggers autophagy. Signaling for this in the body involves two key pathways when the body’s nutrients are depleted: mTOR, or mammalian cells of rapamycin, regulate the nutrients that affect cell growth, protein synthesis, and anabolism.
It is also linked to the activation of insulin receptors and the formation of new tissue. AMPK, or AMP-activated protein kinase, helps maintain energy homeostasis and activate the body’s reserve fuel mechanisms. Both mTOR and AMPK are designed for the presence of nutrients in your body. These two pathways help your body decide whether to activate a growth response (mTor) or to go into autophagy (AMPK).
Autophagy also works with two key hormones: glucagon and insulin. People with diabetes or hypoglycemia have regulation problems or are over-sensitive to insulin. When insulin levels go up, glucagon goes down and vice versa. Fasting causes insulin levels to drop and the amount of glucagon to increase, which allows you to fast and stimulate autophagy. However, it is not that simple.
To induce autophagy, you need low levels of liver glycogen, which you normally only get after 14-16 hours of fasting, or more likely after 24 hours. Despite these great benefits, the fasting required to activate autophagy is not for everyone. Some people feel weak and moody and have trouble sleeping during such a fast. Strive for a balance and always check with your health care providers.