Autophagy Fasting: The Mystery Explained by Dr. Boz


Hi, I’m Dr. Bosworth and welcome back I have another video for you today and a blog post along with it That’s about something very strange called Autophagy. If you’ve never heard of that word that makes you normal But the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2016 went to exactly this topic and it couldn’t be more Appropriate for the timing of this information. I contend that every baby boomer needs to know this information So tune in and put on your science caps Cuz this might be a little sciency II but I’ll walk you through it autophagy. It literally means to eat thyself autophagy eat thyself sounds super weird, right? The Nobel Prize in medicine in 2016 went to Yoshinori Ohsumi who’s the man who’s been looking into this strange word called autophagy for his practically his whole lifetime. We’ve always known that the body has a way of cleaning up debris inside ourselves inside our bodies and keeping that level of junk, if you would, low and that it worked better in some people and not so much in others but we didn’t know how it turned on or how it worked and how to turn it off. This Nobel Prize in 2016 outlined how this works. Baby boomers pay attention this understanding of autophagy might be medicine’s saving grace for that generation of bad advice that we’ve given you. Your generation has endured more procedures, more surgeries, had more chronic diseases that escalate in your lifetime and has made you fatter than any generation ever documented before. This might be the one thing in your lifetime that could reign in or hone in that we’ve given to your whole generation So this message is specifically targeted at baby boomers and why they should care. Brain biopsies tell the story the best. We know that when brain cells and brain function is doing well we can look at tissue from that brain under a microscope and find very little debris very little junk also called plaques or neurofibrillary tangles that this level of. . . think of it as a rusty leftover cell parts that are hanging out in your brain and the dump truck should come along pick it up and scoop it away, but for some reason in your brain, it hasn’t done a good job of that. A little bit of junk hanging out? no problem, but as it builds up over the years it becomes a predictor for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and memory loss just in general. but before you ever have a day where you miss a memory; where you glitch and can’t think of a word; if we would back up in your brain about five years we could see that there were debris or these plaques building up to begin with By the time you come to an office visit and say doc there’s something wrong with my memory we’re usually 15 years into a whole pile of junky debris throughout your brain and autopsies have proven that. When we look at the function of a brain and we study how badly it’s impacted one of the predictors for function is how many of these plaques or neurofibrillary tangles are hanging out in their brains. You want those to go away? That’s autophagy! Autophagy is the cellular process that says hey this cell isn’t working very well. Let’s clean it up and see if we can make it function better. I want to compare that to another “sciency” word called apoptosis which is the programmed cell death. Every one of the cells in our body has a lifespan it’s supposed to live for so long, but you can sell yourself short and have those cells not live as long or Have them live even longer than expected based on this process that ignites programmed cell death. If the cell is swollen and inflamed and living under chronic stress We know that the cell life is shorter that those cells don’t live as long and I’m talking about heart cells, brain cells, lung cells Every cell in the body turns over at a certain interval. But under times of chronic high stress and specifically chronic inflammation those cells don’t live as long. Apoptosis says hey this cell life is used up. It’s over and throw the cell away. Compare that to autophagy, which says hey, this cell has a lot of junk in it. We’re gonna clean up the different parts of that cell and recycle that nourishment for the rest of the body. Why should you care? All this sounds way over most people’s heads and they don’t care but you should care if you’re a baby boomer and you’re overweight. The answer for why people should care would be the flabby skin left over after weight loss. It’s embarrassing, the number of baby boomers that have said these words to me, “Yeah, doc I know I should lose weight, but you know, it would leave me with too many wrinkles.” Yes, they say that! I have good news for you! If you induce autophagy during your weight loss your body will recycle those deformed cells that made those wrinkles in the first place. Yes, autophagy is a process where it recycles and uses the unused or deformed cells in your body and recycles them for nourishment. One more example– Let’s take the tale of two people losing a hundred pounds. A hundred pounds is a lot of weight and when you do that, you’ll find that most people in today’s low calorie, otherwise known as torture diets, trickle food in at this low level nutrition as their body metabolism shuts down a little bit further every day, every day, every month and indeed they lost a hundred pounds. but the difference between someone who’s lost a hundred pounds with a low-calorie diet as to someone who’s lost a hundred pounds while igniting their autophagy is a skin curtain Skin curtains are the word that we in medicine used for the leftover flabby skin In the arms or in the abdomen when people have lost massive amounts of weight The solution that medicine has come up with when that happens is of course a surgery. The surgeon goes in and he will trim off the extra skin But under the skin there is way more to the story the blood vessels the connective tissue the place where all those fat cells Were filled with stored fat Still exist in these patients, they weren’t recycled. They weren’t gobbled up like they would be in autophagy. Autophagy ignites the process where the body absorbs not just the skin cells But the blood vessels and the connective tissue and all of that other stuff Found inside the human body when fat has been filling a space and now the fat is gone but that stuff is all left over. In autophagy the system uses those cells as a form of nourishment and You can see the weight loss keeps the skin held tightly to their muscles. Autophagy is a big topic of conversation Around those people losing a lot of weight but it should be just as important for people who are trying to undo a Chronically inflamed brain or heart or other system in your body that chronic inflammation has left the junk and the debris hanging out. The body simply didn’t have the resources or the Chemistry set present inside the body to go gobble up that extra debris inside the cells. So autophagy’s a good thing. Inducing it means that you need a certain chemistry set. And what does that? in a word- Fasting. Yes. I know this word sounds like a curse word when I first introduced it to patients, but Fasting sets up a chemistry set that allows the body to find resources throughout the system it’s really important that you distinguish the difference between a low calorie diet, which is a trickle of calories coming in, in comparison to fasting which is zero calories coming in. If I take a patient who’s on a standard American diet with 100 to 300 carbohydrates a day and I want them to induce autophagy I will need to keep no calories around for about 72 hours before their system induces autophagy. If you’ve ever tried to do that from a high carbohydrate state, you won’t like the person who’s forcing you to do it. It’s not comfortable. People have lots of hunger pains. The transition from a high carb situation to zero calories is painful, it causes hunger. It’s very unsettling. Now compare that to someone who’s in ketosis who’s using fat as their fuel most of the time. They have less than 20 carbohydrates that come in a day and when we stop their calories, you can see autophagy ignite within as little as 12 hours. More often a autophagy status is guaranteed by 24 hours or 36 hours, but you can see the process begin in as little as 12 hours. That can happen every day in one of my ketosis patients Suppertime being around five o’clock or six o’clock if they fast until morning Which is eight hours when they’re sleeping with no calories in between you can see their bodies ignite a little bit of autophagy every day This is amazing for what it does to the cleanup crew inside their 70, 80, 90 year-old bodies. I have a couple of patients who come to my keto support group every week. In their 80s, they embarked on a 7 day fast specifically because they wanted to ignite what happens during autophagy. Now they’d been in ketosis for several months and they’ve done a 12-hour fast, a 24-hour fast and even a 36-hour fast. They did them without much trouble and were able to have a pretty positive experience when fasting. After reading and learning about autophagy they wanted to do a 7 day fast. I wouldn’t recommend this to most patients in their 80s, but they had quick access to me and they were great about checking their biomarkers. They checked their blood pressure They checked their blood sugar and they checked their blood ketones and they had quick access to me With that process they made it to day four, five, six and all the way through the seventh day without any calories. I can guarantee that inside their eighty year old body they awoke cells that had been dormant for many years cleaning up the crew trying any little morsel of a debris that’s not being used. They ignited their cleanup crew to do things their body shouldn’t have done at 80 years old in today’s world But going back a couple hundred years this wasn’t that uncommon. To have times when food was scarce for seven days is not an unheard-of situation. Today’s access to food has made autophagy almost a thing of the past. And I would contend that until this Nobel Prize came out Most of my colleagues didn’t even know about the word either. I want to close by saying autophagy is the scientific word that says eat thyself It is ignited when your body has been in ketosis and you go with no calories for 12 hours or more You can induce autophagy from a carbohydrate loaded diet But it takes many more days and it’s very difficult using this newfound science gives us a great tool to guide patients in ways to help clean up the debris from their chronically inflamed brains, bodies, and tummies. I hope this was helpful It was kind of sciency but it’s a really cool understanding of what happens inside our bodies I’d love to hear if you have any comments below so send them to me and I’ll try to answer them if you’d like to learn more about this ketogenic diet and things like autophagy, you can check out the book I wrote– Anyway, You Can that’s on audible or on Amazon. Until next time I’m signing off. Dr. Boz