In many ways, your body and cells are very similar to pieces of delicate machinery. As your cells operate, they produce waste inside of them and over time their internal parts will start to wear down.
Now, one of the ways that we cause our cells to deteriorate even faster is when we eat too much, too often, or the wrong foods.
This deterioration shows up on the outside as weight gain and extra fat. Internally, we feel lethargic, our sleep suffers, and our brain is often in a fog.
We all know someone who has been blessed with a “fast metabolism” and can eat seemingly endless quantities of sugary treats without gaining an ounce.
Unfortunately for the rest of us mere mortals, just thinking of that slice of delicious apple pie à la mode will make us feel like we need an extra notch in our belt.
But it goes beyond just gaining weight or feeling terrible.
When your metabolism and your cells are compromised, it can affect your cardiovascular system, your muscles, even your neurological system.
Autophagy to the Rescue
Luckily, mother nature has a plan. Our bodies have an internal “recycling” process to clean out the “gunk” that builds up in our cells. This junk can include things like misfolded proteins and damaged cellular components.
That mechanism is called autophagy.
In 2016, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for ground-breaking research on this very subject.
Not only does autophagy clean out these worn out parts and waste, but it also breaks them down and reuses them as either raw materials for new cells or as energy sources.
However, autophagy doesn’t happen all the time.
It is triggered by moderately prolonged periods of fasting.
Most experts agree that autophagy peaks somewhere between 12 and 16 hours then tapers off slowly after that.
Furthermore, autophagy ends as soon as you eat a meal.
Some even believe calorie-free drinks like tea or coffee interrupt autophagy. But we think that is probably a little too restrictive.
A good rule of thumb is if it has calories, it breaks autophagy.
Autophagy is one of the main reasons why intermittent fasting has become so popular, not to mention all the other metabolic upgrades like increased whole-body fat burning.
What Happens During Autophagy?
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 another structure called a lysosome (as pictured in the rendering all the way at the top of this page). A lysosome is essentially a self-contained, traveling little stomach filled with acid.
Together, they break down the waste and broken parts and produce a mixture of amino acids and protein that can be used for energy or repairing the cell.
How to Activate Autophagy
Perhaps the most effective way to initiate autophagy is through fasting and nutrient restriction.
When our cells are deprived of nutrients, they begin autophagy to break down old and damaged parts for energy.
Another way is by exercising. Exercising upregulates the AMP-Kinase pathway, which in turn down-regulates mTOR complex 1, and finally starts autophagy.
Inducing Autophagy without Fasting
Scientists recently discovered there is another way to induce autophagy: depleting something called intra-cellular acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA), as well as the deacetylation of cellular proteins.
This process happens naturally when our cells are deprived of nutrients. But there are 3 ways of speeding it up using biochemistry:
- Creating less AcCoA: stopping production of AcCoA with AcCoA depleting agents.
- Getting less AcCoA from elsewhere: using Acetyltransferase inhibitors, which counteract enzymes that transfer acetyl groups from outside the cell
- Removing AcCoA from the cell: by activating deacetylases, which facilitate the removal of acetyl groups.
There are several nutrients that do exactly this. They are called caloric restriction mimetics.
Caloric Restriction Mimetics
The Autophagy Stack combines the most well-studied and researched caloric restriction mimetics into one capsule. The Autophagy Stack is the world’s first autophagy enhancing nutritional supplement. It uses a combination of 6 clinically tested ingredients.
5 of these ingredients belong to one of the 3 caloric restriction mimetics classes we mentioned above.
The sixth ingredient, quercetin, we’ve included because it enhances the absorption and bioavailability of most of the other ingredients.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the ingredients and how they work together in the Autophagy Stack:
Niacinamide is a well-known B vitamin. It is included in the Autophagy Stack because niacinamide activates a cellular protein called SIRT1, which induces autophagy by stimulation of deacetylases. As an added bonus, niacinamide also improves your HDL/LDL profile.
Quercetin improves the bioavailability of the other active ingredients in the Autophagy Stack, thereby making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. But it also has antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties and is a perfect addition to this autophagy supplement.
Curcumin is a polyphenol found in turmeric. Humanity has prized curcumin for thousands of years as an antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory ingredient. We include curcumin in the Autophagy Stack for its capacity as an acetyltransferase inhibitor.
You may remember Resveratrol from a few years ago when it was found in abundance in red wine. Resveratrol induces autophagy through the mTOR-ULK1 pathway and reduces inflammation, causes cancer cells to die and is another powerful antioxidant.
Pterostilbene is a close “cousin” of Resveratrol. The only difference between them is two methoxy groups on the pterostilbene molecule that replace hydroxy groups on the resveratrol molecule. Pterostilbene might have an advantage over Resveratrol in that it looks to be better-absorbed through oral ingestion. Some studies have shown that it might be a more potent antioxidant and anti-cancer molecule. However, it may not be as effective an anti-inflammatory agent. Another benefit of Pterostilbene is that it decreases cholesterol and blood glucose and improves insulin sensitivity.
EGCG stands for epigallocatechin-3-gallate. This is another inhibitor of a range of acetyltransferases. EGCG is the main active ingredient in black and green teas. EGCG protects your heart, brain, and provides anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-atherogenic properties, as well as promoting liver and blood vessel health.
If, like us, you are fully committed to leading the healthiest life possible, autophagy should be one of the tools in your arsenal.
It has proven to be one of the most exciting mechanisms for life extension and health.
Whether you want to be able to fast a little less or activate autophagy a little more, Autophagy Stack will help you accomplish your goals.