If you know anything about intermittent fasting and autophagy, then you’re probably aware that they both show incredible promise for health and longevity.
In fact, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to Japanese scientists Yoshinori Ohsumi in 2016 for his discovery of autophagy in the 1990s.
If you’re currently practising intermittent fasting, then you probably also know that fasting can be difficult at times.
But here’s something you may not know.
There is a class of healthy nutrients called “caloric restriction mimetics.”
We’ve learned that, as their name implies, these compounds are capable of mimicking the effects of nutrient depletion inside your cells.
We’ll go into more detail below, but the way it works is that nutrient depletion causes 3 different cellular processes to take place inside your cells.
These three processes are responsible for starting autophagy.
Here’s the exciting part: calorie restriction mimetics produce these 3 processes all on their own.
So what does that mean?
Well, the studies show that you could use calorie restriction mimetics to induce autophagy sooner so you don’t have to fast for quite as long.
You would still get the benefits of intermittent fasting and autophagy.
The only difference is that you could shorten your fasting window by several hours.
So let’s look at the evidence and studies. We’ll link to all of them so you can check them out at your leisure.
For anyone reading who may not be familiar with intermittent fasting and autophagy, here’s a quick overview.
But if you already know how intermittent fasting works, you can click here to skip to the part where we go over caloric restriction mimetics.
What is Intermittent Fasting and Autophagy?
Intermittent fasting is the practice of restricting your food intake to a relatively short window. The most popular combination is an 8-hour eating window and a 16-hour fasting window, but many people experiment with other splits.
You don’t have to reduce the total amount of food that you eat. Instead, you simply shorten the time during the day that you eat. In practice, you are effectively skipping either breakfast or dinner.
Why Is Intermittent Fasting So Popular?
First, intermittent fasting has been shown to produce weight loss.
Second, intermittent fasting is relatively easy for some people to follow because there isn’t a list of “bad” food that you must resist.
But the biggest reason why people are flocking to intermittent fasting is that it delivers several very attractive anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-neuro-degenerative benefits.
There are reasons to believe that all of these added benefits are the result of a physiological process called autophagy that happens when you fast.
What is Autophagy and How Does It Work?
After 12 to 16 hours of fasting, your cells become depleted of nutrients.
This nutrient depletion initiates the process of autophagy inside your cells.
Autophagy is often called the body’s “recycling program” and for good reason.
When your cells are depleted of energy sources, the first thing they do is start re-using and recycling any spare parts and waste they have inside them.
Now, over time, you cells produce a lot of waste byproduct and their internal parts get worn down.
During autophagy, your cells create these scoop-like structures called autophagosomes. They move through the cell and literally scoop up these broken parts and waste.
The autophagosome then fuses with the lysosomes, which is essentially a self-contained, travelling little stomach, complete with its acidic substance. Together, they break down the parts and produce a mixture of amino acids and protein that can be used for energy or repairing the cell.
This sort of recycling is incredibly healthy. It keeps your cells “cleaner” and improves their efficiency.
But intermittent fasting is just one way that we know of to trigger autophagy.
A certain class of nutrients called “caloric restriction mimetics” have the ability to mimic the effects of nutrient depletion that result from intermittent fasting.
How Caloric Restriction Mimetics Work with Intermittent Fasting and Autophagy
So we know that nutrient depletion via intermittent fasting is one of the primary triggers of autophagy.
But HOW does it trigger autophagy? What is the mechanism of action there?
According to research from the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz in Austria, nutrient depletion “results in the depletion of intracellular acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA) coupled to the deacetylation of cellular proteins.”
Their research also proved that “AcCoA functions as a central metabolic regulator of autophagy.”
AcCoA monitors your nutritional status and when it gets depleted, autophagy increases. Conversely, when AcCoA goes up, autophagy goes down.
That means that AcCoA is the “master switch” for autophagy.
So if we can manipulate AcCoA, then we can control autophagy.
How to Manipulate AcCoA with Caloric Restriction Mimetics
Research from the Cordeliers Research Center in Paris has shown that there are 3 ways that calorie restriction mimetics can manipulate AcCoA at the cellular level and thereby induce autophagy.
The depletion of cytosolic AcCoA by interfering with its biosynthesis.
The inhibition of acetyltransferases, which are enzymes that transfer acetyl groups from AcCoA to other molecules, mostly leucine residues in cellular proteins.
The stimulation of deacetylases, which catalyze the removal of acetyl groups from leucine residues.
Caloric restriction mimetics operate on these three physiological pathways to mimic intermittent fasting and autophagy.
So what are they?
Meet the World’s Most Potent Caloric Restriction Mimetics
We now know that there are several ultra-healthy antioxidants that are powerful caloric restriction mimetics.
We’ll lay them out based on which of the above 3 pathways they exploit that deplete cellular levels of AcCoA.
Depletion of Cytosolic AcCoA
Hydroxycitrate is commonly included in supplements in the form of Garcinia cambogia. It works in the cell to deplete levels of AcCoA. However, we think it’s important to point out that hydroxycitrate also inhibits the induction of ketogenesis.
Inhibition of Acetyltransferases
Curcumin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate are both well-known inhibitors of acetyltransferases. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is green tea extract.
Stimulation of Deacetylases (Deacetylases Activators)
Nicotinamide (also called niacinamide) is a form of Vitamin B3 and it is a known activator of autophagy. Resveratrol and its analog, pterostilbene, have long been studied for their ability do induce autophagy.
Now, if you want to utilize these nutrients to support intermittent fasting and autophagy, you would usually have to purchase them separately.
Which is exactly why we created the world’s very first autophagy supplement: the Autophagy Stack.
How Autophagy Stack Supports Intermittent Fasting and Autophagy
The Autophagy Stack contains a powerful blend of some of the most effective caloric restriction mimetics available.
These ingredients are shown to control cellular levels of AcCoA and therefore are some of the best triggers of autophagy.
Autophagy Stack includes clinical doses of:
We also include another anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and anticancer compounds called quercetin.
Interestingly, when quercetin is used with these other nutrients, the bioavailability of quercetin itself also increases.
Missing from the Autophagy Stack is hydroxycitrate because this ingredient inhibits ketogenesis. Our team believes that ketosis is a very healthy physiological phenomenon and actively practices a ketogenic diet. Since we also take Autophagy Stack daily, we did not want this product to interfere with ketosis.
That being said, the Autophagy Stack is packed with many of the other known autophagy inducing antioxidants that we have access to.
The Autophagy Stack lets you induce autophagy faster so that you can shorten your fasting window, while still getting all the healthy and longevity benefits of autophagy. And if you are already comfortable with your feeding window, Autophagy Stack will let you get the maximum benefit from your intermittent fasting practice.
Plus, the ingredients in the Autophagy Stack are also well-known anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants, so you get all of those added health benefits as well.
All of our ingredients have been tested and inspected for purity and potency.