An interesting view of one benefit of autophagy, a collection of housekeeping processes that are boosted by the practice of calorie restriction: researchers have "shown that autophagy, a pathway preserved during evolution, functions to engulf and digest cholesterol accumulated in artery walls. This process facilitates the removal of cholesterol and may provide an entirely new target to reverse atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol accumulates in the walls of arteries leading to atherosclerosis, also known as narrowing of arteries and which causes blockages and reduces blood flow to the heart. This often culminates in heart attacks and strokes. The autophagy pathway, which means self-digestion, developed early in single-cell organisms to allow the clearance of accumulated dysfunctional molecules. ... The finding that autophagy also functions to digest and liberate cholesterol from cells and the fact that we know this pathway is regulated offers hope for the development of new drugs that could activate export of cholesterol from the walls of arteries."