Friday, March 25, 2016

Astragalus: The Super Herb that Prevents Cancer

Astragalus: The Super Herb that Prevents Cancer

You’ve probably heard of natural cold remedies like echinacea, garlic, and goldenseal. But here is a remedy that may be even better! So just what is this miracle remedy? It’s an ancient Chinese herb called huang qi, which means“yellow leader,” but you probably know it by its more common name… Astragalus.
Native to China, Mongolia, and Korea, astragalus is a herb that grows up to three feet tall. Known botanically as “astragalus membranaceus,” the yellow root has various medicinal uses.
This super herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. The University of Texas has shown it to be an adaptogenic herb which enables viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells to be “picked up” on the immune system’s radar. In one study, astragalus was able to restore immune function in 90% of the cancer patients studied!
Astragalus is a powerful “non-specific” immune modulator. Instead of activating our defense system against a specific disease organism, it modulates immunity by increasing the numbers and activity of macrophages, which are roving white blood cells that engulf invading organisms.

Benefits for Cancer Patients

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, the ripple effect on the rest of their health can often cause more trouble than the disease itself. Unfortunately, so can traditional cancer treatments.
During one study, researchers investigated the effects of astragalus on cancer patients with compromised immune systems as a result of chemotherapy.Patients taking the astragalus supplements experienced a faster recovery and improved survival rates.
Scientists examined the effects of astragalus among patients with cancer-related fatigue. They discovered that the group receiving pure astragalus extract showed significant improvements and concluded that it is a promising adjunctive treatment for cancer.
Chinese studies show that astragalus improves the quality of life and the overall immunity of cancer patients undergoing chemo. The roots of the astragalus plant are thought to stimulate the production of interferon. Interferon is an essential chemical that induces the proper functioning of the immune system. Interferon is also effective in fighting cell mutation and cancer development.
Astragalus is a herb proven to safeguard the immune system.
This herb is revered for its ability to boost the immune system. When cancer patients undergo chemotherapy, most often, the drugs used cause the body to produce less red and white blood cells. This makes cancer patients more susceptible to infection and general illness that can quickly become serious. Astragalus enables the body to boost its white blood cell count, produce more antibodies and natural killer cells, strengthen its antiviral immunity, and increase the production of interferon.
Based on research conducted at the University of Houston, the use of astragalus enhances the ability of T-cells and NK cells to destroy tumors. It activates interleukin-2, which kills cancer cells and helps relieve the side effects of chemotherapy such as immunosuppression, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and overall weakness.
In tests at the Hiroshima School of Medicine in Japan, astragalus was shown to directly increase B-cell and T-cell levels, interleukin, and antibody production. But not only does astragalus increase the number of leukocytes, in particular the “hunter” T-cells; it also helps identify the viruses, bacteria, and other rogue cells.

Other Astragalus Benefits

  • Wound and Skin Care: When applied topically, it effectively alleviates eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and has also been used to treat wounds. Taken as a tea, the antioxidant property of astragalus improves your blood flow – crucial for great looking skin.
  • Slow Signs of Aging: Astragalus improves your cellular health by slowing down the wear and tear of your DNA. Within your DNA, there are small strands called telomeres that keep your cells from unraveling. The root extracts help extend the life of your telomeres, making you look younger and slowing down the aging process on a cellular level.
  • Healthy Heart: Astragalus’s diuretic effect flushes toxins from your body. Many studies have shown that high blood pressure is a critical factor contributing to heart disease. Astragalus aids in blood vessel dilation, which can lower your blood pressure naturally.
  • Regulates Blood Sugar: Patients with diabetes can safely rely on astragalus to lower and balance their blood glucose levels. One study discovered that it restored high blood sugar to normal and raised blood sugar when it was too low.
  • Immune System Optimization: Since astragalus contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, it has been used effectively in TCM to treat allergies, colds, flus, and respiratory conditions.
  • Improves Anemia: Early studies showed that astragalus root increased the blood count of anemic patients, especially those who have aplastic anemia. Though more research is needed in regards to anemia, initial results are promising.
Taking astragalus is generally considered safe. However, it is important to consult your health care provider before you add it to your health regimen. Though side effects reported have proved to be minor – diarrhea, bloating, and dehydration – it has been known to interfere with prescribed drugs.
You can find astragalus in several different forms including capsules, tablets, liquid alcohol extract, injectable forms, and topical forms. The recommended dose is between 1-30 grams of powdered root per day, which is available in capsule form.
Astragalus is a source of fascination for researchers and more studies will likely discover further conditions that this ancient herb is able to help. Look for it at your local health food store.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why the iPad is a far bigger threat to our children than anyone realises

Why the iPad is a far bigger threat to our children than anyone realises: Ten years ago, psychologist SUE PALMER predicted the toxic effects of social media. Now she sees a worrying new danger...

  • Sue Palmer is a psychologist who realised how dangerous technology could be to young children
  • She's shocked about how even the tiniest have become slaves to screens   Excessive screen-time can lead to obesity, aggression and depression
When the little girl pointed at the sweets at the checkout, her mother said: 'No, they're bad for your teeth.' So her daughter, who was no more than two, did what small children often do at such times. She threw a tantrum.
What happened next horrified me. The embarrassed mother found her iPad in her bag and thrust it into her daughter's hands. Peace was restored immediately.
This incident, which happened three years ago, was the first time I saw a tablet computer used as a pacifier. It certainly wasn't the last. Since then, I've seen many tiny children barely able to toddle yet expertly swiping an iPad - not to mention countless teenagers, smartphone in hand, lost to the real world as they tap out texts.
Sue Palmer, a psychologist, has seen countless toddlers who can barely walk swiping  at screens (stock photo)
Sue Palmer, a psychologist, has seen countless toddlers who can barely walk swiping at screens (stock photo)
It's ten years since the publication of my book, Toxic Childhood, which warned of the dangers of too much screen-time on young people's physical and mental health.
My fears have been realised. Though I was one of the first to foresee how insidiously technology would penetrate youngsters' lives, even I've been stunned at how quickly even the tiniest have become slaves to screens - and how utterly older ones are defined by their virtual personas.
Indeed, when my book came out, Facebook had just hit our shores and we were more concerned with violent video games and children watching too much TV. Seems like ancient history, doesn't it?
Today, on average, children spend five to six hours a day staring at screens. And they're often on two or more screens at once - for example, watching TV while playing on an iPad.
Because technology moves so fast, and children have embraced it so quickly, it's been difficult for parents to control it. And when it comes to spending a childhood in front of a screen, this generation are like lab rats. The long-term impact is not known.
Even before iPads hit the market in 2010, experts were warning that 80 per cent of children arrived at school with poor co-ordination, due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Along with colleagues in the field of child development, I'd seen a rise in prescriptions for Ritalin, a drug for attention deficit and hyperactivity - a four-fold increase in less than a decade.
Sue Palmer, above, believes that excessive screen time can lead to obesity, sleep disorders and aggression
Sue Palmer, above, believes that excessive screen time can lead to obesity, sleep disorders and aggression
And we'd collected a mass of research showing links between excessive screen-time and obesity, sleep disorders, aggression, poor social skills, depression and academic under-achievement.
It's little wonder, then, that the boom in iPads and smartphones has coincided with further deterioration in the physical and mental health of children of all ages.
Sadly, we're seeing the rise of the 'techno-tot' for whom iPads have become the modern-day equivalent of a comfort blanket.
Recent research found 10 per cent of children under four are put to bed with a tablet computer to play with as they fall asleep.
One study of families owning them found a third of children under three had their own tablets. Baby shops even sell 'apptivity seats' into which a tablet can be slotted to keep toddlers entertained.
Few know that the late Apple boss Steve Jobs didn't let his own children have iPads. I wish he had gone public on this as other parents might have followed suit.
Few know that the late Apple boss Steve Jobs didn't let his own children have iPads. I wish he had gone public on this as other parents might have followed suit
Because the earlier children are hooked on screens, the more difficult it is to wean them off.
This is not the only worry. It's not just what children get up to onscreen that affects their overall development. It's what screens displace - all the activities they're not doing in the real world.
Today's children have far fewer opportunities for what I call 'real play'. They are no longer learning through first-hand experiences how to be human and are much less likely to play or socialise outdoors or with others.
One of the most depressing examples of a totally screen-based childhood involved a ten-year-old in London. The overweight, pasty-faced little lad told me: 'I sit in my room and I watch my telly and play on my computer . . . and if I get hungry I text down to my mum and she brings me up a pizza.'
The change in children's play has happened in little more than a couple of decades. While many parents feel uneasy about all that screen-time, they haven't tackled it as they've been so busy keeping up with changes in their own lives.
And anyway, it's happening to children everywhere - so surely it can't be bad for them?
But real play is a biological necessity. One psychologist told me it was 'as vital for healthy development as food or sleep'.
Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer explores the effects of screen time on children
Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer explores the effects of screen time on children
If the neural pathways that control social and imaginative responses aren't developed in early childhood, it's difficult to revive them later. A whole generation could grow up without the mental ability to create their own fun, devise their own games and enjoy real friendships - all because of endless screen-time.
It's getting out and about - running, climbing, making dens and so on - that allows little children to gain physical skills. Playing 'let's pretend' is a creative process requiring lots of personal input.
Real play develops initiative, problem-solving skills and many other positive traits, such as a can-do attitude, perseverance and emotional resilience. It's vital for social skills, too.
By playing together, youngsters learn to get along with other people. They discover how others' minds work, developing empathy.
And, as real play is driven by an innate desire to understand how the world works, it provides the foundation for academic learning.
Real play is evolution's way of helping children develop minds of their own - curious, problem- solving, adaptable, human minds.
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no screen-time for children under two and a maximum two hours a day there-after. This is not just due to a proven link between screen-time and attention disorders, but because it eliminates other activities essential for building healthy bodies and brains.
Babies are born with an intense desire to learn about their world, so they're highly motivated to interact with people and objects around them - the beginning of real play.
That's why they love it when we play silly games with them, such as peekaboo, or they manage to grasp some household object. This is what helps them develop physical co-ordination and social skills.
But when little ones can get instant rewards from high-tech devices, they don't need to bother with real play.
Images on a screen can be just as fascinating as the real world, and even a very small child can learn to control the images with a clumsy swish of podgy fingers.
Each time babies or toddlers make something happen on screen, they get the same sort of pleasure hit as they would from a cuddle or a splash in the bath.
When they can get instant rewards by swiping a screen, why bother with play that demands physical, social and cognitive effort?
Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield says: 'We cannot park our children in front of screens and expect them to develop a long attention span.'
She also worries about the effects of technology on literacy. 'Learning to read helps children learn to put ideas into logical order,' she says. 'On the other hand, staring at a screen puts their brains into suspended animation.'
Dr Aric Sigman, who has amassed a huge database of research linking children's screen-time to ADHD, autism and emotional and behavioural disorders, also points to the conflict between screen-based activity and reading.
'Unlike screen images, words don't move, make noises, sing or dance. Ultimately, screen images render the printed word simply boring at a crucial phase when the child's mind is developing,' he says.
Yet another problem with too much screen-gazing is that it doesn't develop resilience.
Real play gives children opportunities to learn how to cope with challenges for themselves. Finding how to learn from their mistakes, picking themselves up when they take a tumble and sorting out squabbles with playmates all help develop the self-confidence that makes children more emotionally resilient.
This is vital for mental health, especially in our high-pressure world. So I wasn't surprised when this month Childline warned Britain is producing deeply unhappy youngsters - sad, lonely, with low self-esteem and an increasing predilection to self-harm.
The charity painted a bleak portrait of our children's emotional state, blaming their unhappiness on social networking and cyber-bullying.
It's understandable parents feel unable to tackle their children's social media use. After all, it has spread like a virus. In 2012, just six years after Facebook arrived here, it was the favourite website of ten-year-old girls.
That year I interviewed three 15-year-old girls in Yorkshire who have been on Facebook since the age of ten. They said they didn't enjoy it as much as 'when we were young' because 'running our own PR campaigns' - as they wittily described the constant need to make their lives sound glamorous and exciting - was exhausting and they often felt miserable when others seemed to be having more fun.
But they couldn't give up the social media site as it would put them out of the social loop. 'There's lots of cyber-bullying,' one said. 'So you've got to try to be like everyone else.'
But we can't go on letting our children 'be like everyone else' when it's damaging them. If the next generation is to grow up bright, balanced and healthy enough to use technology wisely, parents need to take action.
And that means limiting screen-time, spending time together as a family and making sure get children out to play.
Some say children need to use technology because that's the way the world is going. But there's no need to give little children high-tech devices.
Modern technology develops at a phenomenal rate - any IT skills that children learn before the age of seven will be long past their sell-by date by the time they reach their teens.
But self-confidence, emotional resilience, creative thinking, social skills and the capacity for focused thought will stand them in good stead whatever the future brings.


Rosie Corriette is one parent who gave in and bought her young daughter an iPad. Elizabeth, four, would use it to watch Peppa Pig videos on car journeys or while Rosie made important phone calls.
Then came a family christening. Rosie and the other parents invited to the ceremony at St George's church in Ashstead, Surrey, tried to agree on the etiquette for technology in advance, worried their children would stare at screens all day. 
They agreed a tablet amnesty. So days beforehand, Rosie reminded Elizabeth that she wouldn't be able to take her iPad to church. Elizabeth was disappointed, but agreed to leave it in the car.
Rosie Corriette, left, 26, a writer from Carshalton, Surrey, with her daughter Elizabeth, four, right, had a christening ruined by the use of an iPad in church. Immediately lots of children clustered round noisily 
Rosie Corriette, left, 26, a writer from Carshalton, Surrey, with her daughter Elizabeth, four, right, had a christening ruined by the use of an iPad in church. Immediately lots of children clustered round noisily 
At first, all was well. All of the children played quietly with crayons and building blocks at the back of the church.
'They were enjoying colouring in, and then we saw it,' says Rosie, 26, a writer from Carshalton, Surrey. One mother, it seems, had been unable to persuade her four-year-old to leave their tablet at home. Explaining that he was having 'a tough time', she had allowed her son to take along his iPad Mini.
The minute he pulled it out of its cover, the other children clustered round him, before loudly and insistently begging their parents for their own tablets.
The crayons and building blocks were cast aside and a sacred occasion was ruined by techno-tots.
An updated version of Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer (Orion, £8.99) is out now.
Controversial baby bouncer complete with iPad holder in action
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Friday, March 11, 2016

Autophagy — How Your Body Detoxifies and Repairs Itself

Autophagy — How Your Body Detoxifies and Repairs Itself  March 11, 2016    By Dr. Mercola

While there are many different ways to rid your body of accumulated toxins, from detoxifying foods and chemical and/or natural detox agents to saunas, a biological process known as autophagy plays a key role.
The term autophagy means “self-eating,” and refers to the processes by which your body cleans out various debris, including toxins, and recycles damaged cell components.
“Your cells create membranes that hunt out scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells; gobble them up; strip ’em for parts; and use the resulting molecules for energy or to make new cell parts.”
Dr. Colin Champ, a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center explains it thus:
“Think of it as our body’s innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes.”
By boosting your body’s autophagy process, you dampen inflammation, slow down the aging process, and optimize biological function. As noted by Fight Aging:2
“Greater autophagy taking place in tissue should mean fewer damaged and disarrayed cells at any given moment in time, which in turn should translate to a longer-lasting organism.”

Boosting Autophagy Through Exercise

Like the benefits of exercise, autophagy occurs in response to stress. And, in fact, exercise is one of the ways by which you boost autophagy. As you probably know, exercising creates mild damage to your muscles and tissues that your body then repairs, and by so doing makes your body stronger.  Exercise also helps flush out toxins by sweating, and is helpful for just about any detox program. In fact, many consider exercise a foundational aspect of effective detoxification.
Dr. George Yu, for example, who has been involved with clinical trials to help detoxify people from the Gulf War, recommends using a combination of exercise, sauna, and niacin supplementation to maximize elimination of toxins through your skin.
Exercise is an important component as it also causes vasodilation and increased blood flow. Beyond that, as noted in the featured article:
“One study looked at autophagosomes, structures that form around the pieces of cells that the body has decided to recycle.
After engineering mice to have glowing green autophagosomes ... scientists found that the rate at which the mice were healthily demolishing their own cells drastically increased after they ran for 30 minutes on a treadmill.
The rate continued increasing until they’d been running for 80 minutes.”

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Optimize Autophagy?

The amount of exercise required to stimulate autophagy in humans is still unknown, however it is believed that intense exercise is more effective than mild exercise, which certainly makes logical sense.
That said, other research has shown that the “Goldilocks zone” in which exercise produces the greatest benefit for longevity is between 150 to 450 minutes of moderate exercise per week, lowering your risk of early death by 31 and 39 percent respectively.
Spending at least 30 percent of your workout on high-intensity exercises has also been shown to further boost longevity by about 13 percent, compared to exercising at a consistently moderate pace all the time.
Following these general guidelines will likely put you in the most advantageous position for maximizing autophagy as well.

How to Radically Inhibit Autophagy

One of the quickest ways to shut down autophagy is to eat large amounts of protein. What this will do is stimulate IGF-1 and mTOR, which are potent inhibitors of autophagy.
That is why it’s best to limit your protein to about 40 to 70 grams per day, depending on your lean body mass. The specific formula is one gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some vegetables also contain generous amounts of protein — for example, broccoli. Forty grams of protein is not a large amount of food — it's the equivalent of one six-ounce chicken breast.
To determine whether or not you're getting too much protein, simply calculate your body's requirement based on your lean body mass, and write down everything you eat for a few days. Then calculate the amount of daily protein you've consumed from all sources.
If you're currently averaging a lot more than what is optimal, adjust downward accordingly. The following chart provides a quick overview of how much protein is in various foods.
Red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood average 6 to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9- or 12-ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18 to 27 grams of protein
Eggs contain about 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12 to 16 grams of protein

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
Seeds and nuts contain on average 4 to 8 grams of protein per quarter cupCooked beans average about 7 to 8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average 5 to 7 grams per cupMost vegetables contain about 1 to 2 grams of protein per ounce

The Importance of Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Healthy mitochondria are at the core of staying healthy and preventing disease. Mitochondrial damage can trigger genetic mutations that can contribute to cancer, so optimizing the health of your mitochondria is a key component of cancer prevention. Autophagy is one way to remove damaged mitochondria, but biogenesis is the process by which new healthy mitochondria can be duplicated.
Interestingly, exercise plays a dual role as it not only stimulates autophagy but is also one of the most potent stimulators of mitochondrial biogenesis. It does this by increasing a signal in your body called AMPK, which in turn activates PGC-1 alpha.
By stimulating  your mitochondria — the organelles in nearly every cell that produce ATP — to work harder, your mitochondria start making reactive oxygen species (ROS), which act as signaling molecules. One of the functions they signal is to make more mitochondria.
In essence, the key to preventing disease — virtually  eliminating the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, many other diseases — and  slowing down the aging process lies in  optimizing mitochondrial function and increasing mitochondrial numbers. Thankfully, exercise helps you do both.

Intermittent Fasting — Another Way to Boost Autophagy

Fasting is another biological stressor that produces many beneficial results, including autophagy. In fact, some of the benefits associated with fasting — such as a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease — can at least in part be attributed to this process.
While there are many different kinds of intermittent fasting schedules, if you’re insulin resistant, my personal recommendation is to fast every day by scheduling all of your eating within a window of approximately 8 hours or less. For example, you could restrict your eating to the hours of 11am and 7pm. This equates to 16 hours of daily fasting.
I used to recommend skipping breakfast, but I’ve since realized that it probably doesn’t matter which meal you skip — breakfast or dinner — as long as you skip one of them. Some really struggle without breakfast, so play around with it and find out what works best for you.  
Eating between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. may work better for some people, and this schedule actually has an added advantage, because you’re now fasting for several hours before going to bed. I’m convinced that it’s best for most to avoid eating three hours prior to bed, as the last thing you need to be doing is producing energy when you don’t need it.
There’s compelling evidence showing that when you supply fuel to your mitochondria at a time when they don’t need it, they leak a large number of electrons that liberate reactive oxygen species as free radicals.
These free radicals damage your mitochondrial and eventually nuclear DNA. There’s also evidence indicating that cancer cells uniformly have damaged mitochondria, so eating too close to bedtime is not a good idea. I personally strive for six hours of fasting before bedtime, but at bare minimum, avoid eating at least three hours before going to bed.

To Boost Autophagy, Switch to a High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet

Nutritional ketogenesis is a third strategy that will help boost autophagy, and to accomplish that, you need to cut down on the non-fiber carbs and increase the amount of healthy fat in your diet, along with a moderate amount of protein. (Many Americans tend to eat far more protein than they need, which will counteract your efforts to get into nutritional ketosis.)  According to Champ:3
“Ketogenesis is like an autophagy hack. You get a lot of the same metabolic changes and benefits of fasting without actually fasting ... Between 60 and 70 percent of one’s overall calories should come from [healthy] fat ... Protein makes up 20 to 30 percent of calories, while carbs are kept below 50 grams per day ...  Similar benefits have been noted in people following a diet in which carbs didn’t exceed 30 percent of their overall calories.”
Most Americans consume harmful fats like processed vegetable oils, which will invariably make your health worse. Not only is it processed, it’s very high in omega-6 oils, and excess omega-6 fats will integrate into the inner mitochondrial membrane and become highly susceptible to oxidative damage, causing your mitochondria to die prematurely.
It is best to keep omega-6 fats consumption to less than 4 to 5 percent of your total daily calories Replace the omega-6 fats with healthy fats-  such as natural, unprocessed fat- found in real foods such as seeds, nuts, real butter, olives, avocado, orcoconut oil.
It’s also important to make the distinction about which carbs we're talking about when we say “low-carb,” as vegetables are "carbs" too. However, fiber carbs (i.e. vegetables) will not push your metabolism in the wrong direction — only the non-fiber ones will (think sugars and anything that converts to sugar, such as soda, processed grains, pasta, bread and cookies, for example).
Even more importantly, the fiber is not broken down by sugar but travels down the digestion system, is consumed by bacteria in your intestine, and converted to short chain fats that actually improve your health.
If you look at the nutrition facts on a processed food package, it will list total carbs, and again, that's not what we're talking about. To calculate the dangerous non-fiber carbs, simply subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrate in the food in question. Remember, you do need carbs, but you need most all of them from vegetables, which are also high in fiber.

Autophagy Restores Function in Aging Muscle Stem Cells

It has long been known that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in skeletal muscle are an important part of the muscle repair process. Previous research4 has shown that exercise affects the behavior of your muscle stem cells, and may help prevent or even restore age-related muscle loss. MSCs in muscle are very responsive to mechanical strain, and these stem cells accumulate in muscle post-exercise.
And, while the MSCs do not directly contribute to building new muscle fibers, they do release growth factors, which encourage other cells to generate new muscle. It’s also known that people's muscles tend to become increasingly deficient in MSCs with age, and that autophagy efficiency declines as well. As a result, metabolic waste starts to build up in your cells and tissues.
A recent Spanish study5 reports that satellite cells — muscle stem cells responsible for tissue regeneration — rely on autophagy to prevent the arrest of the cell cycle, known as cellular senescence; a state in which stem cell activity significantly declines. In short, to improve the regeneration of muscle tissue, you need to augment autophagy.
With efficient autophagy — your body’s internal cleaning mechanism — your stem cells retain the ability to maintain and repair your tissues.
As reported by Fight Aging:6
“The researchers demonstrated that restoring youthful levels of autophagy in old satellite cell populations can restore them from senescence and return their regenerative capabilities ... The paper ... is one of the more compelling of recent arguments for putting more effort into treatments based on artificially increased levels of autophagy ...
[M]any of the methods known to modestly slow aging in laboratory species are associated with increased levels of autophagy. It is a vital component in hormesis, wherein causing a little damage leads to a lasting increase in autophagy and a net gain. Stem cells spend much of their time in a state of quiescence, only springing into action when called upon.
This helps to preserve them for the long term. In older tissues with greater levels of molecular damage, ever more stem cells slip from quiescence into an irreversible senescent state. These senescent cells are no longer capable of generating new cells, and start to secrete all sorts of harmful signal molecules.”

Health and Longevity Are Rooted in Mitochondrial Function

The take-home message here is that your lifestyle determines your fate in terms of how long you’ll live and, ultimately, how healthy those years will be. For optimal health and disease prevention, you need healthy mitochondria and efficient autophagy (cellular cleaning and recycling), and three key lifestyle factors that have a beneficial effect on both are:
  1. What you eat: A diet high in quality fats, moderate in protein, and low in non-fiber carbs. Eating organic and grass-fed is also important, as commonly used pesticides like glyphosate cause mitochondrial damage
  2. When you eat: Daily intermittent fasting tends to be the easiest to adhere to, but any fasting schedule that you willconsistently follow will work
  3. Exercise, with high intensity interval exercises being the most effective