Fasting and Autophagy

This is a post I originally posted on another HealthUnlocked website, but I think is worth putting up here.

There has been a lot of discussion if not excitement around the web regarding intermittent fasting.

Primarily it involves weight loss, and is a very effective and valuable tool (along with a LCHF (Low Carbohydrate, High Fat) to achieve this. However, there is more, much more to intermittent fasting that simply losing weight.

Before I go further there is one thing you might have heard - fasting makes you lose protein - lean muscle mass. If you believe this then you have to explain how a person, under CONTROLLED CLINICAL CONDITIONS, survived for 382 days - a year and 17 days eating nothing whatsoever. You would also need to explain how a hibernating bear wakes up after seven and a half months, stretches and goes about replenishing his fat stores on intact muscles. This is a very important point and cogent to my argument that intermittent fasting probably is a potent weapon to keep prostate (or any other solid cancer) at bay and indeed may help with men with the condition.

When you start fasting and your body recognises that it is entering an unusual energy deficit HGH (human growth hormone) increases massively. This response is there to protect muscle and bone while you switch from burning carbohydrate to burning fat. For after a fast you need to be in good shape to get out and about (see bear above). In addition to this something wonderful happens, and it’s called autophagy.

Autophagy is pretty complicated but in essence it is a process whereby a scavenging process kicks in, and this is where it may crucially play a role in cancer prevention. Under artificial conditions of plenty (the western diet as opposed to our hunter gatherer ancestors) autophagy is never turned on and the junk DNA, damaged proteins and crucially pre-cancerous cells pile up. However when food, and more importantly protein, is scarce, then autophagy is turned on, and the useless protein above is recycled. Increasingly cancer is being regarded as a damaged mitochondrial syndrome rather than damaged DNA. Fasting destroys and recycles junk mitochondria and thus may be a valuable tool in the prevention of cancer. I look at it as harmless insurance!

Here's a taster:

There is plenty of information on autophagy and intermittent fasting on youTube and I’d recommend Dr. Jason Fung as your start point if the above chimes.

Bottom line for me?

I understand the science and what I have described seems like common sense, is totally safe, costs nothing and might just give me an edge in the lottery of life.

1 Reply

  • Mike thanks for the post on autophagy.

    Sure makes sense and makes intermittent fasting and LCHF very logical to control BS.

You may also like...