24.1 C
Lagos
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Autophagy: Definition, Health Benefits, Diet and More

- Advertisement -

According to Priya Khorana, Ph.D., in nutrition education from Colombia university, autophagy is referred to as the body’s way of clearing out damaged cells, so that newer and healthier cells can be regenerated.

- Advertisement -

“Auto” refers to self, while “phagy” means eat. Thus, the meaning of autophagy is “self-devouring” or “self-eating.” While that may seem like an idea for a horror movie, the phenomenon is indeed beneficial to our health.

Autophagy is an evolutionary self-preserving mechanism that the body uses to expel dysfunctional cells. It also channels part of these cells toward cellular cleaning and repair.

Studies have shown that autophagy helps the body to remove debris and regulate itself back to optimal function.

According to Dr. Luiza Petre, a board-certified cardiologist, “It is recycling and cleaning at the same time, just like hitting a reset button to your body. Plus, it promotes survival and adaptation as a response to various stressors and toxins accumulated in our cells.”

Benefits of autophagy

The significant benefits of autophagy seem to present itself in the form of anti-aging principles. Petre referred to it as the body’s way of turning back the hand of time and creating younger and healthier cells.

When our cells are stressed, we experience increased autophagy in order to remain healthy, hence, enhancing our lifespan.

Scott aleatory, who is a registered dietitian, explains that in times of shortage of food, autophagy helps the body by breaking down cellular material and recycling it for necessary processes.

He also adds that the process takes energy and wouldn’t continue forever, but this gives us more time to get nourishment.

Benefits of autophagy at the cellular level include:

- Advertisement -
  • Encourages regeneration of healthy cells
  • Reusing residual protein
  • Supplying energy and building blocks for cells that need repair
  • Eliminating toxic protein from cells that associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
  • It also plays a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer

Keatley adds that “Autophagy declines as we age, so this means cells that no longer work or may do harm are allowed to multiply, which is the MO of cancer cells.”

Petre says that, while all cancers emerge from some defective cells, that the body recognizes and eliminates those cells, often using the process of autophagy. This explains why some researchers are studying the possibility of autophagy, helping to minimize the risk of cancer.

While there is no scientific evidence to support this, Petre added some studies suggest that several cancerous cells can be eliminated through autophagy. Experts believe that current studies will lead to the insight that will help professionals target autophagy as a cancer therapy.

What dietary changes can help to boost autophagy?

Since autophagy means “self-eating,” it would make sense that ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting should trigger the autophagy process. Fasting being the most effective way to activate autophagy.

Ketosis is a diet that’s low in carbs and high in fat and can be used to get the same effect as fasting without actually fasting.

When the body is not overwhelmed with an external burden, it gives the body a reason to focus on its healing and repair. In keto diet, you can get 70% of your daily calories from fat, and 8-10% of calories from carbs. The shift in calorie sourcing forces the body to shift its metabolic pathways. The body then begins to use fat as fuel instead of glucose.

In reaction to this restriction, the body starts to produce ketone bodies that have several protective properties. When our body is deprived of sugar through ketosis or fasting, it triggers the positive stress that activates the surviving repair mode in us.

Another non-diet activity that plays a role in inducing autophagy in the body is exercise. A study has it that physical exercise may be used to induce autophagy in human organs. This includes the liver, muscles, adipose tissues, and pancreas.

Conclusion

Experts are presently researching the impact of autophagy on our health. There are still several things we don’t understand about autophagy that requires attention.

Autophagy can’t be stimulated by including regular exercise and fasting into your routine. Nonetheless, it’s advised that you consult with your doctor, especially if you’re on any sensitive medications, breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to get pregnant.

- Advertisement -

You also need to consider your health if you are dealing with severe health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

What are your thoughts? Do you suppose autophagy is something you’d like to try? Is it something you’ve tried before? If yes, kindly share what you think with us in the comments below.

autophagy
  • Save
- Advertisement -

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.
- Advertisement -

Trending Now

Potentially Serious Health Issues That Are Most Commonly Ignored Until It’s Too Late

It often happens that we take our health for granted, ignoring all the signs and signals manifested by our bodies which try to tell...
- Advertisement -

Skin Rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Home Remedies

Skin rashes are common skin problems experienced by millions of people worldwide; it is characterized by a visible change in the color...

Atis Fruit: 10 Health Benefits of Eating Sugar Apple

Sugar apple (Atis fruit), is the Annona squamosa fruit belonging to the natives of West Indies and to the tropical Americas like Peru, Mexico,...

How to Increase Sodium Levels in Your Blood?

Levels of sodium in the blood is often a misunderstood topic and it is extremely necessary that we as individuals understand the meaning and...

Spider Bites: Symptoms, Treatment & Identification

Spider bites in the United States are often annoying but they are rarely fatal. If a person gets bitten by a black...

8 Ways to Remove Dandruff Without Washing Hair

There are about 50 million Americans are diagnosed with dandruff which is an alert problem. Dandruff not only cause damage to your...

5 Ways You Can Stop Snoring at Night

For many people worldwide, snoring is not just something they do while sleeping after a long day. Snoring can be a huge...

Oral Surgery Recovery – What Foods to Eat

Had oral surgery? Then it’s very hard to have foods while in recovery. An oral surgery makes you feel weak and nauseous. So it’s...

7 Types of Disability and Examples

For disabled people life is a lot different than the rest of us. They don’t lead normal lives like we do and need assistance...

Friends

Newsletter

Nurture yourself with health tips, wellness advice, and more.

- Advertisement -

Related Posts

How Art Can Make You Feel Better?

There are many alternative ways to deal with health issues, from fighting cancer to fighting depression. When it comes to the use of art...

Important Tips to Take Care of People With HIV/AIDS

Living with a deadly disease like HIV/AIDS is not easy, though a person who has contracted the HIV virus can try to live a...

What Are the Causes of Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders affect more than 1 in 3 people in the UK every year. Insomnia, trouble staying asleep, and other sleep disorders can have...

The Essential Guide to Low Testosterone Levels: Treatment and Therapies

Feeling a bit low? Testerone levels affect your mood, libido and cognitive functioning. If you’re looking for the right therapy to boost your testosterone...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

autophagy
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap