So, autophagy is an essential process in which the body’s cells “clean out” any additional or damaged
components. The article looks at what exactly autophagy is, its possible health impacts, and its relation with fasting along with looking at other factors that might cause it.
Studies have majorly linked autophagy with certain positive health effects and duly believe that a person might be able to induce it by fasting. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy to recognize that much of the investigation into autophagy is in its early stages.
What is autophagy?
Well, a person’s body contains trillions of cells. Over time, outcast molecules can build up inside them and this can damage some of their parts.
An article published in 2015, explains that it is a well-versed natural process that responds to this
problem. Throughout this process, the cells remove these unwanted molecules and dysfunctional parts.
But it should be noted, that sometimes, it destroys some of these molecules and parts. But other times, the cell recycles these parts into new components. The term “autophagy” concludes from the Ancient Greek for “self-eating.”
How does autophagy work?
So yes, you can really train your body to eat itself — and, believe it or not, you want it to. This is quite a natural process and is called autophagy and one way that your body cleans the house.
Throughout this process, your cells create membranes that hunt down scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells; gobble them up; strip ’em for parts; and use the resulting molecules for energy or to make new cell parts.
The benefits of autophagy
There’s abundant proof to suggest that it plays a role in controlling inflammation and boosting immunity, among other benefits. In a 2012 study on several mice, researchers found that it protected against:
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Inflammatory diseases
- Insulin resistance
An added study from that year showed how a lack of autophagy can be harmful. Researchers found that assassinating the autophagy gene in mice caused weight gain, lethargy, higher cholesterol, and impaired brain function.
HOW TO INCREASE AUTOPHAGY
There are several ways you can turn up this process. To purify your cells and reduce inflammation, and generally keep your body moving in tip-top shape, take these five simple steps to increase the autophagy process.
Take on board that because autophagy is a response to stress, you need to trick your body into thinking
it’s a little bit under stress. Here’s how:
STEP 1: EAT A HIGH-FAT, LOW-CARB DIET
It is very important to eat fat because you activate autophagy. Fat needs to be the ruling macronutrient in our diets because it’s different from protein. Whereas protein can spin into a carb and become a sugar, fat cannot.
Specifically, a keto diet gives you an edge when it comes to autophagy. The shift from burning glucose
(carbs) to ketones (fats) what happens naturally in a fasted state — and this may increase
this process in its own right.
STEP 2. GO ON A PROTEIN FAST
Once or twice a week, restrict your protein intake to 15-25 grams a day. This provides your body with one day to recycle proteins, which will help reduce inflammation and cleanse your cells without any muscle loss. During this time, while it gets triggered, your body is forced to consume its own proteins and toxins.
STEP 3. PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING
Research suggests that fasting increases autophagy. How long is too fast to reach it? In 2010
study, mice fasted for 1-2 days to promote autophagy. It’s not clear how that translates to
humans (yet), but we do sense that intermittent fasting is connected with weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and lower disease risk.
STEP 4. EXERCISE
Another reason to hit the gym: in human and rodent studies, exercise has been shown to stimulate it. In a 2018 study, 12 men achieved an eight-week exercise program consisting of constant state cycling or high-intensity interval cycling for three days per week. The researchers terminated that both styles of training supported autophagy, which supports the idea that all movement is good movement.
Less is more, a technique to exercise for inducing autophagy and favors high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Weightlifting and resistance training exercises for half an hour daily are the ideal way to activate autophagy. It’s about getting in that short-term, acute stress because it loves the stress of interval training.
STEP 5. GET RESTORATIVE SLEEP
You can reap the benefits of autophagy while you’re asleep too. A 2016 rodent study
suggests that it follows circadian rhythms, and sleep fragmentation — or short interruptions of sleep — seems to disrupt it.
Autophagy is the process of self-eating the toxin and unwanted cells from the body. It provides several benefits such as weight loss, and aging, It will continue to gain attention as researchers conduct more studies on the impact it has on our health. For now, nutritional and health experts point to the fact that there’s still much we need to learn about it and how to best encourage it.
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