I’m just being to understand how important autophagy is. The word autophagy comes from the Greek word “auto”, meaning self, and “phagein”, meaning to eat. According to Dr. Jason Fung, who is an expert on fasting, this is the body’s way of getting rid of all the broken down, organelles, proteins and cell membranes when there is no longer enough energy for. It is like our internal recycling to replace old parts on a sub-cellular level. Autophagy is stimulated by a lack of nutrients. So that’s why one of the biggest benefits of fasting occurs when you decrease your insulin, you increase your glucagon which in turn stimulates autophagy. One of the issues with our modern lifestyle is that we are always eating and don’t go through periods of fasting the way our ancestors would have. We don’t naturally clean house as well anymore. Too bad we couldn’t just assign our cells expiration dates!
Here’s an article by Dr. Jason Fung that talks about just the process of autophagy in the body: