How to induce Autophagy....

Autophagy has become quite the en vouge word in the longevity community over the last couple years and for good reason.  Many have been looking for ways to induce it and clear out senescent cells.  Some have even coined the term for these cells "Zombie Cells".  Don't worry, there is no tipping point to which once you accumulate a certain number that you will be shuffling around earth looking for brains to eat.

After the last blog post discussing the process of autophagy, we felt is was only natural to write a quick blog post on how it can be induced to help with the cleanup of the cellular debris.

Here is a quick run down:

1. Fasting.  We truly believe this is one of the best tools there is to induce autophagy (and also longevity).  Many of our clients are surprised by the use of such a simple tool and the results they achieve with this.  Although it quickly strikes fear in people, fearing they will starve to death.  There are alternates to water only fasting that are easier on the body and mind.  We have the fasting mimicking diet for purchase on our site.  This is essentially a 5 day fasting mimicking diet that allows for you to have a specific amount of food with the proper portions of fat, carbs, protein, and calories to induce a fasting state in your body and get all of the benefits of a water only fast while keeping your sanity.  It can be done as little as every three months.  Many of our clients will elect to do it once a month for three months, then switch to a maintenance phase of every three months.  There are ways to do it on your own without the kit, but the kit we found is convenient. keeps you on track, and keeps you more accountable (you are invested in it). 

2. Exercise - Exercise can also induce autophagy.  Specifically it has been shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) induces autophagy[*].

3. Coffee - Coffee-fueled mice see increased autophagy in every major organ system[*]. Decaf works too, which means it’s probably the rich variety of antioxidants in coffee that drive its autophagy benefits.  Granted, this has only been shown in mice, it still is a good excuse to enjoy that beautiful morning cup of coffee.

4. Certain Supplements - 

  • Curcumin, which regulates mitochondrial autophagy[*]. You can find curcumin in turmeric, or you can take pure curcumin as a supplement. Either way, make sure you always pair curcumin with black pepper. Pepper contains a compound called piperine that increases curcumin absorption by 2000%[*]. If you’re going the supplement route, check the label; a good curcumin supplement will include black pepper extract.
  • Resveratrol increases autophagy as well[*]. Red wine is famous for containing resveratrol, but you won’t find enough of it in wine to make a difference. You’re better off taking a resveratrol supplement.
  • Berberine, a natural component of goldenseal, also turns on autophagy pathways[*]. Again, you’re best off taking a berberine supplement.
  • Spermidine - Spermidine extends lifespan and improves healthspan via the PINK1-PDR1 pathway [*] [*

We partnered with Thorne to provide quality supplements to our clients at a discount.  You can click here to visit our Thorne store for a special discount for our blog readers.

5. Keto Diet

The Keto Diet can activate many of the same pathways in your body that fasting does. One is your AMPK pathway, which is a strong trigger of autophagy[*].

In rats, a ketogenic diet induced autophagy and protected the rat’s brain from seizure-induced injury[*].