Nowadays, science is discovering new ways of circumventing disease and ill health. One tried and tested way of promoting good health is autophagy. This process may seem disconcerting, but is actually highly effective. Autophagy is the consumption of one’s own tissues that occurs during starvation and certain diseases. One way to induce autophagy is through intermittent fasting, which is the voluntary withdrawal of food for certain periods of time. This pushes the body into a state where it starts to eat itself. The effect of this apparently strange development is rather positive, in that the body begins to undergo cell renewal. There are plenty of cells in the body that might be too old or have no useful function left. Autophagy helps clear away these old cells to promote the growth of new ones.
The following are some ways in which autophagy can help the body:
1. Autophagy Is A Way Of Repairing The Body
Simply put, autophagy can help save your life. During times of extreme stress or severe disease, your body feeds on itself to maximize repairs while minimizing damage. During this period of stress or serious infection, your body protects itself by withholding glucose, nutrition, and resources from bacteria and parasites present inside you. It helps reduce inflammation so that the immune system will have a better chance to help the body get back to normal and stave off disease. Autophagy is used to conserve energy and repair the body even in animals, and the process is much the same as in humans.
2. Autophagy Is The Fountain Of Youth
Anti-aging is big these days and many people expend a lot of resources to look young and beautiful, whereas autophagy is a natural way of staying youthful. During autophagy, the cells repair and fix themselves. Cells naturally know how to improve their functioning, and through autophagy they work to get rid of diseases that are occurring at the cellular level.
They recycle damaged parts and remove materials that are toxic and harmful. Cells that are repaired work more efficiently and also behave like younger cells. You might have noticed that some people look younger than others. How well their bodies are able to process toxins is a crucial factor that accounts for the differences in people’s appearances.
3. Autophagy Aids In Metabolism
Autophagy is all about getting rid of toxins and waste from the body. When autophagy is induced, certain toxic substances are removed at the cellular level. Basically, your body takes out the trash and facilitates renewal of even the tiniest cell parts like the mitochondria.
The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell and tend to attract a lot of toxic and harmful substances, which can prove dangerous in the long term. The mitochondria help burn fat and generate ATP, which is the body’s energy resource. By helping replace its parts, the cell avoids succumbing to routine wear and tear. If your cells undergo autophagy, it can help them work better at the body’s many processes, such as protein synthesis.
4. Autophagy Reduces The Risk Of Brain Diseases
Autophagy also helps in maintaining brain health. Brain health is crucial for performing the tasks we have to do every day. Autophagy can help clear out the clutter around the brain cells and keep them functioning at optimal levels. For instance, autophagy engulfs amyloid plaques, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
In Parkinson’s disease, the process of autophagy helps remove ⍺-synuclein. What’s more, a case of diabetes may lead to the onset of dementia because autophagy is restricted when there are high sugar levels in the blood.
5. Autophagy Improves Digestive Health
The gastrointestinal tract is extremely important in maintaining overall health. The GI tract is tasked with doing a lot of important work in the body. A large part of your feces is actually cells. The digestive tract uses autophagy to help clear away toxin and waste build-up in the body. You should allow autophagy to occur in your gut by undergoing intermittent fasting which gives it some time to heal.
6. Autophagy Improves Skin Health
Your skin takes a lot of abuse from the environment. The presence of UV rays, chemicals, and bacteria all contribute to its degeneration. Soon enough, these pollutants manifest themselves as dry skin and wrinkles. Autophagy can help repair your skin by engulfing bacteria that damage it. This means that your skin will start behaving in a more youthful manner because cell renewal is being encouraged at the micro-level.
Autophagy is nature’s way of protecting the body and is considered completely normal. You should encourage autophagy in the body by undergoing intermittent fasting to allow the body to heal and rid itself of toxins and waste. Once these have been removed from the body, it will function in a more efficient manner.