At ProLongevity our core mission is to help you “Live Healthy for Longer” and Autophagy can be extremely beneficial for you in your health journey. But what is it? And why is it beneficial? We are here to answer all of these questions…
What is Autophagy?
If you break down the word Autophagy you get ‘auto’ meaning self and ‘phagy’ which effectively means ‘self-eating.’ Sounds terrifying right? Well, Autophagy is the process of the body cleaning out damaged cells, recycle them therefore, regenerating into healthier ones. In short, it is similar to hitting the reset button on your body and through this process, it promotes different survival and adaptation response to different stressors and toxins that build up within our cells.
Here’s a brief explanation by one of our favourite scientists Dr Rhonda Patrick: How to Clear Your Body of Senescent Cells Through Activating Autophagy – Dr. Rhonda Patrick – YouTube
What are the benefits of Autophagy?
One of the main benefits of Autophagy is the effect it has on anti-ageing. This is because the entire process of Autophagy is centred around creating new and younger cells to replace the ones which have been recycled and disposed of. Our founder, Graham Phillips, collaborated with Dan Greef on one of the latest episodes of UK Low Carb Podcast all about the topic of ageing which you can check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N327yZA3izk&t=1513s
As well as this, at a cellular level, the benefits of Autophagy include removing toxic proteins that are connected to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and much else besides. This is related to the reduction in inflammation that the Autophagy can prompt. It also assists with recycling left over proteins and activates the regeneration of healthy cells to replace the ones that have been recycled. It’s a bit like having a house clearance to make space before your new furniture is delivered!
One of the diseases that terrifies us most cancer. You are at more risk of developing cancer if you consume various triggers such as cigarettes, alcohol, and the biggest culprit ultra-processed foods! Foods including your Friday night takeaways and regular supermarket staples such as chocolate, crisps, and ready meals! You can read our latest blog all about these ultra-processed foods and the damage they cause here: https://www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/ultra-processed-foods-spell-danger.
How can I trigger Autophagy?
In a word? FAST! Autophagy can be triggered by starving the body of energy, so intermittent fasting or fasting for a longer period of time is one way to induce the process. For example, you might eat healthily for 24 hours and then fast for the following 24 hours which is labelled as alternate day fasting. You could also follow different structures of fasting such as the 16:8 method where you fast for 16 hours and only consume food within the 8-hour window. Alternatively, there is the 5:2 method. It simply is finding the best method for you.
As well as this, eating a high fat, low carb diet can be helpful. This is because, our bodies are designed to eat proteins and fats, but not carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are mostly broken down into sugar which raises insulin and ultimately the body stores as fat. We call is “The Trifecta of Evil” .. ie sugar, carbs and processed food. These are the prime culprit for destroying our health and making us ever hungrier and fatter.
If you are looking for more support and advice on Autophagy, just contact us here!