Survival mechanism; autophagy!

Share this article

We will address the question of why autophagy, a type of recycling mechanism in our bodies, is necessary.

Did you know that the dictionary meaning of autophagy, which comes from Greek, is “eating oneself”? We can also say that it is the body’s way of cleaning damaged cells in order to obtain new and much healthier cells than the old ones. Therefore, autophagy is a cellular recycling process and plays an important role in maintaining health and vitality. This self-regulating mechanism maintains a harmonious balance in our body by breaking down and reusing damaged components of cells. So what does autophagy do? Let’s explain it in one sentence: If the function of autophagy is increased, a wide treasure of healthy life will be revealed, from preventing diseases to delaying aging.


The Mission

Its function is to provide a kind of purification in our body. It breaks down old cells, transforming them or producing new ones, serving a recycling function. It initiates when cells detect the accumulation of damaged organelles or proteins. This not only ensures a cleaner cellular environment but also enhances resistance and vitality in our body.

“Listening to our body’s signals and tailoring our lifestyle to its unique needs guides us on a wise and carefully crafted journey of autophagy.”



Cellular efficiency: Autophagy is crucial for cleaning cellular debris and ensuring the optimal functioning of cellular machinery. It is also a vital cellular process that helps maintain the cell’s energy balance, eliminate low-quality materials within the cell in response to stress situations, and overall sustain cellular health.

Disease prevention: It is effective in preventing various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, cancer, and infections.

Longevity effect: Increased autophagy is directly linked to an increase in lifespan and a decrease in age-related diseases.

Stress and immunity: It helps us adapt to environmental stresses and fluctuations, and it also strengthens the immune system.


How can we enhance it?

Intermittent fasting and calorie restriction: These practices support cellular cleansing, potentially leading to a longer lifespan.

Regular exercise: Physical activity stimulates autophagy in various tissues, contributing to a healthy life.

Adopting a ketogenic diet: A low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet increases autophagy and facilitates fat burning for energy.

Which foods enhance it? Foods such as chickpeas, wheat, peas, onions, garlic, broccoli, grapes, and bananas contain spermidine. Spermidine further boosts the cellular renewal process.

Recognizing signs of autophagy

While autophagy works silently, there are specific indicators that can reveal its activation.

Increased ketone levels: Elevated ketone levels in blood, breath, or urine may indicate the body’s state of autophagy.

Decreased appetite: Hormonal changes related to glucagon and insulin during autophagy can lead to a reduced appetite.

Temporary fatigue: Energy levels may initially drop during autophagy, but this usually resolves as the body adapts.

Weight loss: Many methods that stimulate autophagy can lead to weight loss, although it’s important to note that this is not a direct result of autophagy.

Improved brain function: Research has linked enhanced autophagy to improved brain function and a potential decrease in neurodegenerative diseases.


Who should pay attention?

Approaching practices that enhance autophagy requires caution, especially for sensitive groups such as teenagers, the elderly, pregnant individuals, and those with health issues or a history of eating disorders. Consulting a healthcare professional before making significant dietary or exercise adjustments is crucial.


Preventing diseases…

Autophagy holds significant importance in optimal health, disease prevention, and a longer life. By understanding and strategically enhancing this process, we unveil a new dimension of holistic health, placing the power for transformative well-being directly into our hands. Embracing autophagy, we step into a future filled with vitality, resilience, and the potential for a longer, healthier life.

Molecular Mechanisms and Protective Role of Autophagy:

At the molecular level, autophagy serves as a protective mechanism, defending cells against various threats, including pathogens, toxins, and oxidative stress. It meticulously breaks down damaged components and recycles them, preserving the vital functions and integrity of cells. This precise process not only increases cellular resistance but also contributes to longevity.


Role in weight management:

Beyond calorie expenditure, autophagy influences metabolic efficiency, fat breakdown, and hormone regulation, collectively contributing to a healthier body composition. Adopting lifestyle choices that stimulate autophagy goes beyond pursuing weight loss; it represents a holistic approach to nourishing our bodies, ensuring every cell functions at its peak, and creating an environment conducive to our health.


Develop a balanced approach:

While the benefits of autophagy are profound, approaching its enhancement in a balanced and conscious manner is essential. Overstimulating autophagy carries risks, emphasizing the importance of striking a harmonious balance. Supplementing intermittent fasting or exercise periods with a balanced and nutritious diet enables the sustained practice of autophagy. Listening to our body’s signals and tailoring our lifestyle to its unique needs guides us on a wise and carefully crafted journey of autophagy.

Personalised health future:

As we stand on the brink of a new era in health and medicine, autophagy emerges as a central player in personalised health strategies. Tailoring autophagy to our individual needs presents exciting possibilities for preventive care and holistic health. Leveraging advances in genomics, nutrition, and lifestyle medicine allows us to optimise autophagy, unlock all its benefits, and pave the way for a vibrant future of accessible health and longevity.

By embracing autophagy, we embrace a future where the power of healing, rejuvenation, and growth resides within our own cells. Unravelling the mysteries of this captivating process opens new horizons for health, vitality, and a fulfilling life. Autophagy once again proves the extraordinary resilience of our bodies, guiding us on a journey toward optimal health and unique vitality.

Share this article


The information and statements on our website are not intended to guide individuals towards medical diagnosis and treatment. Please consult with your doctor for medical diagnostic and treatment procedures. The contents are shared for informational purposes only, derived from scientific studies prepared by EMC Medya Yayıncılık Ticaret Ltd. Şti.’s researchers, consultants, and authors/scientists, as well as compilations from publicly available publications. Our texts do not contain health statements related to medical diagnosis or treatment

Subscribe to Longevilab​

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.

Subscribe to Longevilab​

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.