To understand the interlinked harmony between ‘Autophagy’ and “Intermittent Fasting” on your START Wellness app, we first need to gaze upon Autophagy’s origin and literal meaning.
Originating from the Greek word, αὐτόφαγος autóphagos, Autophagy comprises of two words,” Auto” meaning self and “Phagy” meaning eating. In brief, it is the mechanism by which cells cannibalize some of their constituent parts to perform a continual cleanup process, thus enhancing the cells’ performance. Autophagy is the very foundation of your START Wellness app’s intermittent fasting and water program.
What is Autophagy?
As described above, Autophagy is a mechanism performed by the cells in which they engulf some parts of themselves to perform well. It explains that the intricate process is given a boost if there is cellular stress. The stress results in the activation of Autophagy. As a result, cell function improves when under pressure, which explains that while Autophagy might sound harmful to the cells, it may enhance their efficiency. It gets rid of the nonfunctional components of the cells to rejuvenate them.
We might understand it by relating it to our life. Apart from a self-cleansing oven, we have no self-cleaners. Our daily utility items need some time and effort to remove the grime, dirt, and waste accumulated over time. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and not make your bed after or have self-cleaning bathrooms? But think of what would happen to our things if we don’t clean or maintain them periodically. Our homes, cars, and offices would become toxic cesspools of dirt, and they would be sickening.
That, in a way, is what can happen to our cells. Suppose harmful toxins are not properly disposed of. In that case, our cell functions drastically decline, resulting in everything from lethargy to weight gain to age-related diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and myocardial infarction. This is what autophagy addresses. Relating to its literal meaning “self-eating,” we deduce that our cells eat away their junk by incorporating Autophagy.
The result? Cleaner, healthier, younger cells.
This mechanism was accidentally discovered by a Belgian scientist “Christian de Duve“ in the 1950s when he studied and researched insulin, which led to lysosomes‘ discovery. Several contributions were made by several scientists in the 1960’s and the 1970’s after its discovery. It was better explained by the Japanese scientist “Yoshinori Ohsumi“later on in 1988, which won him a Nobel Prize in 2016 (The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016, n.d.)
Yoshinori conducted his experiments on strains of yeast to discover the process of Autophagy. This led to the conclusion that Autophagy existed in yeast (Fasting for Health and Longevity: Nobel Prize-Winning Research on Cell Aging, 2018). He concluded that Autophagy is initiated in the cells in which harmful components are engulfed by the vacuoles produced under certain stimuli. He, later on, discovered the genes regulating it. He concluded that this is not merely a response to starvation but ranges to contribute to several physiological functions such as inhibiting cancer cells, aging, eliminating pathogens, and purifying cells’ insides. Yoshinori was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2016 in Physiology for his discovery.
Autophagy and Intermittent Fasting
Naomi Whittel, in her book “Glow 15,” describes that intermittent fasting, mainly 16:8 and also the one START Wellnessapp’s intermittent fasting program is based on, i.e.16-hour fasting, 8 hours not fasting, activates Autophagy in our body. This, in turn, initiates several events in which the harmful substances trapped inside the cells are degraded and expelled from our bodies. Long intervals of fasting followed by short intervals of eating, such as intermittent fasting, act as triggers that initiate Autophagy, resulting in many beneficial outcomes such as weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved blood sugar, and improved brain function.
The liaison between Autophagy and intermittent fasting on your START Wellness App is better understood when we elaborate on it on a molecular level. A well-fed cell isn’t worried about self-cleaning (the literal meaning of Autophagy); it’s too busy replicating. Long intervals of fasting in intermittent fasting result in AMPK pathways‘ activation, which triggers Autophagy in the cell.
Benefits of Autophagy
Benefits cultivated from Autophagy are greatly enhanced when you adopt your START Wellness App’s lifestyle of intermittent fasting coupled with its water program. This is because this combination catalyzes Autophagy in our body, as described above. Some of the benefits of Autophagy keeping the role of intermittent fasting in mind are following:
- Helps in weight loss
- It helps enhance our lifespan as stressed out cells result in increased Autophagy
- It removes toxins from our body, thus protecting from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Provides building blocks for cells that could still benefit from repair
- Prevents cancer
- Potential reversal of Type 2 diabetes
- Gives you better and deeper sleep
We conclude that the benefits associated with Autophagy are accelerated by incorporating your START Wellness app’s intermittent fasting and water program lifestyle. This particular fasting regime induces our body’s trigger factors to activate Autophagy, thus producing the beneficial results mentioned above.
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Dogan, S., Johannsen, A. C., Grande, J. P., & Cleary, M. P. (2011). Effects of intermittent and chronic calorie restriction on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and IGF-I signaling pathways in mammary fat pad tissues and mammary tumors. Nutrition and Cancer, 63(3).
Fasting for Health and Longevity: Nobel Prize-Winning Research on Cell Aging. (2018, October 2).
Hanin, A. (2020, July 16). The 12 Important Benefits Of Autophagy.
Lindberg, S. (2018, August 23). Autophagy: Definition, Diet, Fasting, Cancer, Benefits, and More.
Naomi Whittel, Author of Glow15 and High Fiber Keto, CEO. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2020
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2020.