Autophagy: Why Cells Need to Die "Doc Talks" with Dr. Daniel Nuzum
Jonathan Hunsaker: Autophagy. What is it? Stay tuned and we’re going to go ask Doc.
Today, we’re talking about autophagy. It’s a term used a lot, especially when you’re talking about cancer. But not a lot of us know what that means. Let’s talk to Doc Nuzum and get a lot more detail about autophagy.
Dr. Daniel Nuzum: Basically, what happens in autophagy is you have cells that wear out, or cells that have been damaged, or cells that are unstable, and they get taken off to either the liver or the spleen and they’re broken down and basically recycled. You have that happen in the bloodstream, but you also have that happen in tissues.
You have two base processes in your body; you have catabolization or catabolism. [This is] where things break down, and autophagy is part of that cycle where things in the body are just being broken down.
Then on the other side, you have anabolism; which is where things are being rebuilt. What we need in our system is more anabolism and less catabolism. When things are nutritionally-deficient and become toxic, they have to be catabolized, and so they have to be broken down and then removed from the system.
If we don’t have the nutrition and we don’t have the raw materials, we don’t heal very quickly.
Anabolism is the getting stronger component of the whole healing process. Where catabolism, or the autophagy component, can be part of the detox, or the removal of the waste component of the healing process.
Normally, autophagy would be part of a response the body has to chronic disease or chronic degeneration. Autophagy is something we need to offset by enhancing more anabolism in the system; more healing; more rebuilding in the system.
Here’s something really interesting. Fasting stimulates a lot of our body’s anabolic activities. You’re using up stored glycogen, you’re using up stored fats in the system, and so on and so forth, to maintain your blood sugar, maintain fuel for your activities in fasting.
But as the body’s catabolizing fats and catabolizing glycogen stores and things like that, it stimulates the body to start rebuilding. So, that’s one of the therapeutic benefits of fasting.