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Autophagy is an idea coined by biology for a long time. But rescued and clothed in the fashion of health very recently. Well-controlled autophagy promises better aging, fewer disease, and other added benefits.
As science becomes more entrenched in society, new terms appear. Some are not always used as they should. Others are oversimplified. Nobody said science was simple. And between the line of misuse and the line of oversimplification lies gray and complicated terrain. This is where we find autophagy. As used today, in many nutritional and health circles.
Autophagy is one of the cellular mechanisms studied in biology due to its importance. More recently, the intimate relationship it has with aging has been proven. The tissue accumulates cellular debris and dysfunctional structures as time passes. When autophagy begins to fail, this build-up becomes increasingly complicated and detrimental to the overall health of the tissue.
On the other hand, autophagy is one of the vital points of homeostasis. The set of physiological rules that keep us from dying, basically. This process is fundamentally involved in cell growth. In short, it is essential in the metabolism of our cells and is closely related to many diseases.
Like all biological processes, autophagy is complex. It occurs naturally in finely regulated circumstances. Researchers say that the relationship between autophagy and diseases associated with aging is enormous. So if we increase autophagy, we will reduce the negative effects of the diseases of old age.
The main benefits associated with autophagy are neuroprotection, prevention against metabolic problems related to fats and proteins, and aging. Investigated from Sorbonne, France, they revealed a more than legitimate doubt. What comes first, the cell problem or the disease? Lack of health has a direct effect on the appearance of a lot of cellular debris. Can we assume that eliminating them will improve our health? We do not know.
It is known for a fact that autophagy with a gene mutation works in mice. But from the murine to the human model there is a fairly long stretch. Biology has never been easy and from a laboratory result to a clinical result there is a path full of false steps. Still, dozens of companies and labs have been racing to find anti-aging drugs that control autophagy.
There is a very interesting relationship on which we can walk with more security. He spoke of fasting. This nutritional pattern activates autophagy in various tissues and situations. According to the scientific literature, the stress produced by fasting and caloric restriction induces autophagy.
This mechanism could be the one behind another known fact. Fasting is beneficial for health. Temporary caloric restriction helps reduce risk factors for various diseases such as metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Benefits have also been found against neurodegenerative diseases. Reducing the eating time, and spacing between meals helps to reduce body fat and increase the amount of lean mass or improve neuroplasticity. I can go on and on but the conclusion would be the same. We still don’t know for sure what role autophagy plays in all of this. It may be a direct cause, it may be part of the positive outcome we are talking about, or it may have nothing to do with it.
Our body is a machine that regulates itself with incredible precision. Its responsiveness is above any ingenuity we can invent. In conclusion, it is clear that it is an essential process in aging, and we are getting closer to understanding how we can use this knowledge to our advantage.