Autophagy and Cancer Cells

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Autophagy is similar to intermittent fasting, but in this case, you don’t fast for weight control but disease protection. Autophagy helps the organism to regenerate and stay vital and healthy.

The basic idea is that in the absence of external sources of food, the body begins to eat itself (auto: self, phage: eat), destroying and recycling its damaged cell bits and proteins, so that new and healthy versions can be built.

It is believed to be essential for helping protect against diseases like cancer and dementia, among others.

In 2016 Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel Prize for his discoveries and research on the mechanisms underlying autophagy. As researchers are quick to point out, however, the field is still new and much of autophagy remains a mystery.

What is autophagy?