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What is Autophagy? Why is it important?

Posted on April 23 2022

What is Autophagy? Why is it important? | Roshni Sanghvi

Can we actually increase our lifespan?

How do you reach a state of autophagy? But most importantly, what is autophagy?

Prolonged periods of fasting puts your body in a state of starvation.

Since you’re not feeding the body any calories, the body starts looking for calories inside itself to be used as a source of energy.

It starts looking for broken down cells, dysfunctioning proteins, and anything which the body does not need that can be used up as fuel.

Autophagy is basically a cleaning mechanism. It cleans up your body from the inside out, using up all the things that are not needed by the body including carcinogenic cells (cancer-causing cells).

How do I reach Autophagy?

Autophagy not only boosts your lifespan but also keeps you away from diseases like cancer. The easiest way to achieve autophagy is through fasting.

There are various studies to suggest that fasting for at least 24 hours will help you reach this state but even an intermittent fasting type of diet with a 14-hour fast window and exercising on empty stomach can help you achieve autophagy.

Unless you have a metabolic condition like diabetes or thyroid, training empty stomach actually comes with benefits.

It is highly unlikely that you will lose muscle mass provided you eat sufficient calories in your non-fasting time. In fact, studies show that testosterone (hormone essential for building muscle mass) levels stay slightly elevated when you train fasted.

What does science say?

One of life's most fundamental processes is autophagy. Autophagy has been implicated in an expanding range of illnesses, ranging from bacterial and viral infections to cancer, and more recently in neurodegenerative and other age-related diseases, according to a recent study.

A study titled “Autophagy and Longevity” saw that many long-lived species have high autophagic activity, which is required for their survival, implying that autophagy is one of the convergent mechanisms mediating multiple longevity paradigms.

Fasting plays a prominent role in all religions across the globe, be it Lent for Christians or Paryushan for Jains. This is where religion meets science.

Thus, include some form of fasting every once in a while to boost lifespan.

Trust this helps,

Roshni Sanghvi.


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