Our body contains an uncountable number of cells, and with time some parts of cells get damaged like any machine and need to be repaired. And when this happens, autophagy comes into play. Looking at the benefits of autophagy will make you start practicing it to attain a healthy body.
Autophagy is the body’s natural mechanism of cleaning damaged parts of cells and regenerating healthier cells. Word autophagy’s literal meaning is self-eating. But it isn’t actually a threat to your body. It is basically recycling the older parts of cells and removing toxins from the body.
Although autophagy was discovered in the 1960s, Yoshinori Ohsumi urged the importance of autophagy for a healthy body. His research has contributed a lot to its acceptance as one of the techniques to remedy body ailments. Also, nutrition, diet choices, lifestyle habits can aid in autophagy. Till now, researchers have identified four types of autophagy macroautophagy, microautophagy, crinophagy, and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), on which research is still going on.
What Are The Benefits Of Autophagy?
Since autophagy cleanses out toxins and infectious agents, it plays an important role in the immune system. It boosts the immunity of the body, making it strong to fight any foreign agents that may harm your body. This natural regeneration process at the cellular levels reduces the susceptibility of contracting diseases in the body.
Autophagy removes toxic proteins from the cells responsible for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Autophagy has helped doctors understand dementia better. Autophagy helps promote the growth of newer and healthier cells. Autophagy also provides energy to the cells, helping them in the repairing process of the cells.
How Can We Promote Autophagy?
Due to the effective health benefits of autophagy, we can promote it to kick out unhealthy agents from our bodies. Autophagy is a natural phenomenon that occurs in our bodies. But according to some research, we can trigger it by ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting. In ketosis, we are on high fat and low-carb diet. The metabolic pathway of the body gets shifted due to this shift in calorie sources. The process uses fat as an energy source instead of glucose derived from carbohydrates. Studies suggest that this induces autophagy that is derived from starvation and it has neuroprotective functions.
In both of these diets, the low glucose level is linked to insufficient insulin, and high glucagon level and high glucagon level initiates autophagy. Restrictive calorie intake or fasting puts the body under stress. Due to stress caused by fasting or low-calorie intake, autophagy causes the recycling and cleanings of damaged parts of cells. Exercising also puts the body under stress. There is some evidence that exercise induces autophagy in skeletal muscles.
Autophagy is essential to the body’s mechanism to renew damaged and old parts of cells. After knowing the benefits of autophagy, one can start achieving it through proper lifestyle choices. Therefore, if you want to induce autophagy, you should include fasting and exercising regularly.
Anybody seriously interested in stimulating autophagy must also seek a doctor’s advice. Especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding your baby, have a chronic disease, or on any medications. Fasting is not recommended for anyone who comes under any of the above categories.
Following these benefits of autophagy will help remove the unnecessary and dysfunctional components from the body, leading to a healthy lifestyle.