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A friend recently alerted me to this issue, which I think will transform our approach to health. This has been recognised by a recent Nobel Prize:


Basically, in autophagy, the body's cells are switched to clean up the molecular rubbish that has accumulated in and around the cells. Certain types of stressor can do this, and intermittent fasting, such as low food intake one day per week is one such stressor. Based on animal studies, it can help improve many disease states (e.g. cardiovascular, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases etc). Clearly, it is difficult to get very precise and detailed information in human beings, but I expect that it will come over time; and none of the information from human beings contradicts the animal work. I have tried reading some of the original biomedical literature - it is an immensely complicated area to get your head around even for a biomedical scientist. However as things get worked out I expect that we will hear a lot more about this.

Meanwhile, what are the practical implications? I suggest intermittent fasting (low/no food intake one day/week), intermittent exercise stress (brief bursts of high activity, interspersed with longer periods of lower level activity) plus the other intermittent stressors that have been in the news recently as being beneficial.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently at hour 40 of a 48 hour post refeed(Thanksgiving) fast. I've read a bit about this process of getting rid of the rubbish. There seem to be many ways people approach this. The main one is through fasting like you've mentioned. It would be interesting to see more on timing within a fast for this process to be fully utilized. IF vs 40hour vs 7 day+ fasting. A necessity of life if the ability to fast and 1st world humans have lost this ability. My mom has tried but struggles to even get to 24 hours. I've yet to do anything over 50 hours and that was a bit challenging. I do alternate IF and PSMF or use the two in combination. PSMF until I work out then I eat much more. Not sure what the effect on a PSMF would be on this process. A lot of this stuff may never be researched. 

There's also other methods claimed to remove junk from Gua Sha and cupping to sauna's and massages. On top of that the internal arts like Nei Gong and Qi Gong show some evidence of moving junk by lessening the tension making the junk move more easily. 

I will have to try to make my way through a bit of the science, but I doubt I will be able to understand all that much. My background is in computer engineering and I'm able to grasp some biological concepts but high level research papers are far from my ability.

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