The Autophagy Theory of Life Extension

Thursday, December 09, 2010
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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It’s a fairly simple idea – take out the trash or die a cluttered death.  Researchers are now heavily pursuing the link between compromised trash removal and shorter life.  Or said another way, between improved processes of autophagy and extended life.

The process of autophagy1 is how a cell recycles its debris.  If trash builds up then cellular function is handicapped and cell death is more likely.  Additionally, many gene signals between autophagy and extended life are similar in function.  The race is on to find nutrients that help autophagy work better. 

Researchers point out that nutrients like resveratrol and curcumin can help autophagy work well.  Recently I reported that researchers at the USDA had shown that blueberries and many types of berries help this process work better in your brain.  This is an exciting new frontier in gene-nutrient science and you are sure to hear more about it in years to come.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Does autophagy take a front seat in lifespan extension?  J Cell Mol Med.   Petrovski G, Das DK.

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