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Other ways to promote autophagy?

Commented on April 30, 2014
Created April 25, 2014 at 6:18 PM

It's pretty well known that two good ways to promote autophagy are: Calorie Restrictin (CR) and Intermittent Fasting (IF)...

The latter doesn't work very well for me. It's not that I can't stand not eating for 16 hours, it's that I just can't stuff a full day's worth of food in my moderate gut during a 6-8 hour eating window.

The former comes more easily to me but I'm naturally thin (some misinformed relatives or doctors would call me chronically underweight) and I'm not sure CR is right for me either.

I'm looking into protein cycling (kind of a pussy ass version of IF) but haven't come across any good studies; just some ideas... Plus, most healthy plant foods still have enough protein to throw you out of a protein fast. It would be mostly just oil and low-protein fruits and starches for the day, which also doesn't sound very healthy...

Are there any other means of inducing autophagy that have been verified and/or at least proposed by a fairly reputable source?

EDIT:

I Just realized exercise should be included here. Anyone care to elicudate just how much and what kinds of exercise are best for promoting autophagy, and how this compares to the time-honored CR and IF?

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 30, 2014
at 02:32 AM

i think i will...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on April 30, 2014
at 12:47 AM

Autophagy in itself is not a measure of health, it's a cellular process that occurs in every eukaryotic cell. One should not do something with the sole goal of increasing autophagy. It just so happens that activities that are good for health also tend to induce autophagy. Autophagy is responsible for cell death as well as clean up of waste products. Over stimulating cell death in healthy cells would be a bad thing for obvious reasons. Autophagy cell death of degenerative cells would be a good thing though.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 30, 2014
at 12:38 AM

just added some refs, don't know if they are any good to you....if not, they may give you some more info to search on...

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 29, 2014
at 08:32 PM

The point wasn't that getting the 'clean up crew active' is a bad thing, just that it is done enough by normal body processes so we don't have to go out of our way to doing anything special and that there was not any evidence that going out of your way to attempt to activate it more often for a benefit was not available.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 08:17 PM

hmmm... Please if you stumble across something suggesting this do share. I've been wondering. Intuitively it makes perfect sense to get your body's clean up crew active but I could imagine there being another side to the story.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 29, 2014
at 06:37 PM

It's been a while since i went over 24 hours myself but in the past when i've fasted and made it through the initial stages it felt lovely, when i went 4/5 days i felt so great i wished i could never eat again. There's also something very primal about watching hunger & not feeding it. I feel like it resets both mentally & physically, and the science i've read irrefutably fills me with the confidence that it's safe. This is totally hitting home with me that i need to do a fast soon, hopefully you'll join me!

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:56 PM

Not sure where I saw it, but I read someone assert that this topic really isn't researched enough to the point where we can say people would actually benefit from attempting to artificially start autophagy.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:43 PM

I have never tried going a full day without food. I might just have to try that but have my doubts...

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:42 PM

I wish I saved the link but I recently read something suggesting that the brain might escape the effects of physical exercise on autophagy. I'll have to look for that. Thanks though! I'm incorporating bits of both types of exercise for balance and still looking for a reliable non-starvation means of promoting autophagy in the CNS.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 29, 2014
at 04:06 PM

Yeah not much compares to doing hard intense exercise in a fasted state to get that 'inner clean' feeling

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 02:57 PM

Fascinating! Mind offering a link about the caffeine-autophagy connection? I wonder if it was really a result of appetite suppression...

I've already taken to reducing methinoine and increasing glycine (glycine supplementation seems to have a similar effect on life span to methionine restriction) but I wasn't aware of the effect on autophagy. I wonder if glycine also promotes autophagy or if that's a separate effect of methinoine restriction. I'd love a link about this too!

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 28, 2014
at 07:43 PM

I really thought I'd get a few more interesting answers and/or explanations for this one...

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 25, 2014
at 07:52 PM

If you have a tbspn every few hours, that can equal 400+ calories. I have the same problem when I work out with the 16/8 window. I get about 3500 calories on those days.

Honestly, though, I love it. I just may not have the most attractive midsection when it's all said and done.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 25, 2014
at 07:48 PM

Yeah I guess that's about 120 calories and not exactly a meal replacement. Then, though, I'm back at not being able to stuff down a day's worth of food during my eating window. It does seem like my stomach has stretched a bit though. Maybe I will try it again. Or maybe I'll modify it by having my non-starchy veggies (eg a big salad) for breakfast so I don't have to try to get 2,500 calories of fat, protein, and carbs down during the same small window I eat all my veggies...

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:56 PM

Ya I get that. I personally take 1 tbspn of MCT Oil every morning and it does not block me up at all. I guess that's why everything is n=1.

I don't think of it as "meal replacement"...just maybe as a supplement for my body. Maybe that helps? ha

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:44 PM

Bulletproof coffee may be more palatable?

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:43 PM

Reading this now, not really an answer but you may be interested.

http://athlete.io/1425/intermittent-fasting-part-3-go-eat-yourself/

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:32 PM

Thanks for your insights. I tried IF for a while eating coconut oil for breakfast but it made me feel crappy and possibly got me blocked up. I might give in and buy MCT oils but, also, I'm wary of 'unnatural' practices like replacing meals with intensely refined oils. IMHO, this isn't a far cry from eating a few tablespoons of white sugar for breakfast. Sugar is worse, I know, but I guess it's the principal of the thing.

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4 Answers

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on April 29, 2014
at 03:56 PM

Hey Metho, I'm surprised few here have touched on exercise[1][2][3]. It seems likely that the best way to promote autophagy (which is a funny word phoenetically, lol) would be through doing the most intense exercises in the most fasted state for the longest amount of time. I'm sure you see though that this could quickly get out of hand. There has to be some sort of balance here.

Something that CR, IF and exercise all have in common is that they place a temporary energy stressor on the cells, and the cells have to work a little harder to survive and thrive. Metaphorically disciplining the cells. I know you know that both over and under disciplining someone can have disastrous consequences.

You already know what type of exercise I'm currently biased towards so I won't preach what type of exercise you should do to promote autophagy, suffice it to say that inactivity does not promote autophagy, so physical activity of sorts would necessarily be better than physical inactivity for promoting cellular autophagy. The note of caution would be to not tear down cells faster than they can realistically be rebuilt.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:42 PM

I wish I saved the link but I recently read something suggesting that the brain might escape the effects of physical exercise on autophagy. I'll have to look for that. Thanks though! I'm incorporating bits of both types of exercise for balance and still looking for a reliable non-starvation means of promoting autophagy in the CNS.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 29, 2014
at 04:06 PM

Yeah not much compares to doing hard intense exercise in a fasted state to get that 'inner clean' feeling

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on April 29, 2014
at 03:39 PM

Apart from nutrient restriction you could do high intensity exercise to the extent you induce some mild oxygen starvation (hypoxia), i'd imagine HIIT to be the best form of exercise for this.

http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v30/n47/images/onc2011220f2.jpg

You could also do a full fast every now & then, just don't eat for a day or a few days, you don't have to make up the calories by cramming them into a 6 hour eating window, i'm skinny and find after a fast I can gain back any loss of lean mass very easily, if not better than before.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:43 PM

I have never tried going a full day without food. I might just have to try that but have my doubts...

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 29, 2014
at 05:56 AM

may be take your protein-fast investigations one step further & look at amino acids...

a quick google seems to indicate that methionine inhibits autophagy (so i guess you need to avoid/minimise that one for a start) #1 #2

& caffeine may help promote autophagy (in mice at least) #3 #4

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 29, 2014
at 02:57 PM

Fascinating! Mind offering a link about the caffeine-autophagy connection? I wonder if it was really a result of appetite suppression...

I've already taken to reducing methinoine and increasing glycine (glycine supplementation seems to have a similar effect on life span to methionine restriction) but I wasn't aware of the effect on autophagy. I wonder if glycine also promotes autophagy or if that's a separate effect of methinoine restriction. I'd love a link about this too!

0
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:27 PM

If you BEGIN your fast with some MCT Oil and a light workout, I believe autophagy may be induced sooner. Possibly adding MCT Oil would not only add calories (leading to less food needing to be ingested during the feeding window) but also help to bring the benefits sooner.

Maybe even 1 tbspn every couple hours for 12 hours? Of course this would not work if you want to fast after dinner...hell, it may not even work at all. But I notice my pee starting to smell before the 16 hour mark (and I kind of take that as my body is cleaning itself out), and I always take some MCT oil and do a light workout (jump rope, burpees, etc).

I could be totally wrong...or totally right. Good luck! And great question.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:32 PM

Thanks for your insights. I tried IF for a while eating coconut oil for breakfast but it made me feel crappy and possibly got me blocked up. I might give in and buy MCT oils but, also, I'm wary of 'unnatural' practices like replacing meals with intensely refined oils. IMHO, this isn't a far cry from eating a few tablespoons of white sugar for breakfast. Sugar is worse, I know, but I guess it's the principal of the thing.

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