We’ve been told that antioxidants and resveratrol are the way towards fighting age related diseases, but most people know little about the autophagy process and how beneficial it is to sustaining healthy cells and increasing their survival. Autophagy is the cell repair mechanism that recycles unused or damaged cell components. Here is a better explanation from PubMed:
Autophagy is a self-degradative process that is important for balancing sources of energy at critical times in development and in response to nutrient stress. Autophagy also plays a housekeeping role in removing misfolded or aggregated proteins, clearing damaged organelles, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes, as well as eliminating intracellular pathogens. Thus, autophagy is generally thought of as a survival mechanism.
What this means is autophagy plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy cells, and down regulating it is thought to be one of the main reasons for cell damage and AGING. The truth is that we are just a walking hunk of cells that are sewn together into a four limbed oddity.
The most common form of autophagy is called macroautophagy. The way that this autophagy process works is as follows:
The most well-known mechanism of autophagy involves the formation of a membrane around a targeted region of the cell, separating the contents from the rest of the cytoplasm. The resultant vesicle then fuses with a lysosome and subsequently degrades the contents.
So in the process of macroautophagy your cells are protected and cleaned, leaving them healthy and toxin free. If you want to learn more about this amazing gem in the constant search for anti-aging methods, please look into these related reads: