Autophagy, Fasting & Longevity: How to Test and See if What You’re Doing is Enough

by Mike Mutzel


There's a lot of buzz around autophagy and longevity, but it's hard to directly measure. So we dive into new articles and discuss ways to triangulate and measure to see if your exercise and fasting program is sufficient to meet your health goals.




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Kitada, M., & Koya, D. (2021). Autophagy in metabolic disease and ageing. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 1–15.

Klionsky, D. J. (2021). Autophagy in major human diseases. The EMBO Journal, e108863, 1–63.
Kaushik, S., Tasset, I., Arias, E., Pampliega, O., Wong, E., Martinez-Vicente, M., & Cuervo, A. M. (2021). Autophagy and the Hallmarks of Aging. Ageing Research Reviews, 101468.

Time Stamps:

01:05 Autophagy impacts neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS), cardiovascular system, endothelial cells in the heart and lungs, COPD, cystic fibrosis, some liver disorders, kidneys, reproductive system, eyes, cancer, susceptibility to infection (bacterial and viral), autoimmune disorders, bones, and muscle.

02:35 The enzyme mTOR causes growth and inhibits autophagy. Chronic mTOR overexpression can lead to deleterious changes in your body.

04:04 AMPK is an enzyme that drives autophagy. AMPK is active in a low energy state, achieved by exercise, fasting or caloric restriction.

05:20 Early time restricted feeding has been shown to reduce mTOR and increase autophagy-related genes.

06:12 Berberine hydrochloride supports autophagy. It stimulates AMPK.

07:10 Lipophagy, the burning of fat, is a subset of autophagy. If you are overweight or obese, consider enhancing autophagy through intermittent fasting, low-carb ketogenic-style diet, and exercise (150 min/week cardio and at least 2 days per week of resistance training).

08:10 Exercise increases autophagy.

08:20 Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, aka fatty liver, can be detected by increases in AST, ALT, and GGT enzymes on a liver function test panel.  Fat builds up in the liver in the state of over-nutrition. It is linked to sub-optimal functioning of autophagy.

09:10 Functional decline in eyesight, brain function, muscle strength and muscle mass, as well as memory, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, fat cell formation are linked with impaired autophagy.

10:35 As you age, there is a decline in the expression and sensitivity of autophagy related genes.

12:00 Autophagy helps clean up cellular pathogens, helping to fight viruses and bacteria.

13:10 Your cells become dysfunctional if you are not breaking down aggregated, misfolded proteins, and accumulations of lipids.

13:20 The accumulation of trash inside your cells stimulates the process of cellular senescence, where your tissues age.

15:00 Not overeating, compressing your feeding window, and exercising are the most effective ways to support your autophagy process.


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