Autophagy – your actual immune system

In this issue of our newsletter, you can read about how sulforaphane speeds up the “caretaker” you didn’t know you had – the body’s autophagy system. Autophagy is why exercise makes you stronger; that cold and fasting make you healthier, and that broccoli prolongs life. In order for your cells to function optimally, they, just like your car, need regular maintenance. Research has shown that impaired autophagy is the most important causal factor in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. By increasing autophagy, you can reverse your biological age, recover faster, and preserve the mitochondria by keeping the cellular environment clean.

Autophagy is a Greek word that means self-eating. When cell parts are destroyed, they must be replaced in an efficient way so as not to hinder the cell’s functions. This internal hygiene is of critical importance for the cells’ normal functions. Impaired autophagy leads to a compromised cell environment that damages the DNA and the cells’ energy factories, the mitochondria. Studies have linked several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, to mitochondrial dysfunction, which means the body is unable to repair or replace them.

Healthy cells have an electrical voltage of -70 millivolts

Autophagy maintains normal cell voltage

Autophagy has been the focus of more and more research in anti-aging, immunization and health optimization. This is because it protects the very spark of life in the cell, the mitochondria, and ensures that they can fulfill the cell’s energy needs. For the cell to maintain its health, the cellular environment must be kept clean, via autophagy functions, so the mitochondria have enough oxygen to express health genetics.

When the voltage in the cell drops, this is recorded by special proteins in the cell walls that can measure electrical voltage. It is these proteins that activate the autophagy system to restore cell tension.

Just as the electronics in your house are designed to operate on 220 volts, your health genetics are designed to operate on -70 mV, which is the electrical voltage of healthy cells. Impaired autophagy, poisoning and aging reduce the cell voltage, also known as the membrane potential. This exceeds the body’s rate of detoxification, and waste substances accumulate in the fat cells.

A 2013 study showed that cancer cells can be recognized by a depolarized membrane potential. The study concluded that cancerous tumors occur when the cell fails to restore its membrane potential. Helping the cells to do this is a promising strategy for normalization, the researchers believe.

DNA-repair and cellular rejuvenation

When autophagy is reduced, the DNA is not repaired in the normal way, and the mitochondria are unable to keep the cellular environment clean. Autophagy and DNA repair are vital processes that determine both signs of aging, cancer risk and neurodegenerative diseases. Impaired DNA repair is considered by leading scientists to be the primary cause of chronic disease and degenerative aging.

Studies have shown that increasing the cell’s autophagy processes, especially mitophagy, increases both vitality and lifespan, and prevents the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. The last decades have produced extensive research showing how dysfunctional mitochondria lead to age-related diseases. With aging and reduced autophagy, cells accumulate dysfunctional components that reduce the cell’s energy level. Impaired mitophagy leads to an inability to get rid of defective mitochondria, which ultimately kills of them by oxidative stress.

Autophagy “eats up” components and waste substances that the cell does not need, thus ensuring that hygiene is at a satisfactory level. This happens by marking broken cell parts with a recycling marker, like the green food waste bags.

Impaired autophagy is a characteristic of several diseases and can cause what is called metabolic syndrome. When the cells do not get rid of their waste products, the energy production in the mitochondria goes down, and thus the stress level in the cell increases. Research has shown that autophagy is the most important factor for the cell’s energy level and immunity. Fasting has long been used to activate autophagy and cleanse the cellular environment. Certain phytonutrients such as resveratrolsulforaphane and curcumin also affect autophagy genetics.

The Bredesen protocol: Autophagy for the reversal of cognitive impairment
A study published by Dr Bredesen in 2022 showed for the first time that Alzheimer’s can be reversed using autophagy optimization, also known as his ReCODE (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) protocol. The participants scored better on the cognitive test than the much talked about amyloid antibody Lecanemab.

Change in cognitive performance

Sulforaphane activates the maintenance of the cells through increased autophagy, via Nrf2, and thus increases the cells’ energy production and immune defense. A 2020 study showed that sulforaphane protects the heart and muscles of older people by activating Nrf2, which initiates cell cleansing with the help of antioxidants, and autophagy, which replaces necessary cell components. A cleaner cell environment protects the mitochondria and the DNA, and means that the cells live longer. The advantage of a cleaner cell environment and higher energy production is that the level of inflammation and stress in the body goes down, and it becomes easier to maintain a strong immune system.

Autophagy is essential for immunity, energy and good health

Test your autophagy function

 

By taking this test you can get an indication of your autophagy function, based on known autophagy-related symptoms. 

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