Towards a Theory of Autophagy Thresholds for Optimal Lifestyle Choices

The authors of this open access paper take an interesting position on the use of lifestyle choices to slow aging. In their view the most important outcome is an increase in the efficiency of autophagy, and since we know very little about the thresholds required to stimulate autophagy effectively, we in fact know very little about how to make optimal lifestyle choices. Autophagy is the name given to the collection of cellular maintenance processes responsible for removing damaged proteins and structures in the cell, recycling them into raw materials for other uses. Research into the biochemistry of the beneficial calorie restriction response suggests that upregulation of autophagy is required for improved health and extended lifespan. Additionally, improved autophagy is a feature of many of the interventions that slow aging in laboratory species.

This narrative review highlights the studies that explain regular physical exercise and sleep patterns, as well as fasting, and autophagy as a strategy for healthy longevity and well-being. Currently, any of these methods have been used for achieving healthy longevity and well-being within different stage of life from childhood to old-age; however, focusing on combination of all four methods instead of using just one should be the primary aim in the process of reaching healthy longevity and well-being in full capacity. Despite all the advances that have been made to create adequate physical exercise programs, sleep patterns, or nutritional protocols, the relation between different types of fasting, nutritional supplementation and regular physical exercise and sleep patterns have not yet been satisfactorily resolved to cause the best effects of autophagy and, therefore, healthy longevity and well-being.

Previous research gave some guides how to create adequate protocols to reach the best effects of autophagy, but no studies answered the most important questions how to recognize the autophagy threshold and how to use various factors such as fasting and calorie restriction as well as regular physical activity and regular sleeping to stimulate autophagy and decrease the autophagy threshold. In this way, since there are no previous studies, the first future study should create a theory of autophagy threshold, while the rest of future studies should be clinical trials that would confirm independent and joint positive effects of regular physical exercises and sleep patterns, as well as fasting and autophagy on healthy longevity and well-being.



@Reason, what do you think of Ana Maria Cuervo's research?

Is the number of biotech startups who are going after autophagy also growing?

Posted by: Matt at December 30th, 2021 3:06 PM

@Matt: It is interesting in its gene therapy form. It remains to be seen as to whether efficacy will survive in the small molecule form that is under development. Anyone creating calorie restriction mimetics is more or less targeting autophagy.

Posted by: Reason at December 30th, 2021 4:30 PM

There is a huge need to have a way to use blood testing to measure the waste products produced during autophagy. In the meantime I am thinking Lactate may be a useful proxy. Lactate is produced during oxidative stress similar to the circumstances where autophagy is triggered and there is some research that Lactate acts as a signaling molecule for Autophagy. I have found a Lactate tester I can buy for $200 plus $50 for strips.

Posted by: JohnD at December 30th, 2021 11:00 PM
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