Sunday, February 27, 2011

Self Eating.....not a bizarre form of masturbation

Autophagy (surely pronounced Auto[space]Phagy) is usually characterised as cells eating themselves.  I think I've posted stuff before about  autophagy being turned on by fasting.   This guy (Ron Mignery) also explains how fasting from protein alone can also turn on autophagy.   Matt Lalonde also mentioned this idea in Robb Wolf's podcast last week - he occasionally has a low protein dinner to promote autophagy.

Anyway, here is something else interesting - another reason to fast occasionally or at least have low protein days - autophagy represents an important natural safeguard against cancer development:

Scientists discover that self-eating cells safeguard against cancer

Normally, the process of autophagy is switched on when cells experience periods of starvation and in this context is beneficial by helping to keep the 'wolf from the door' until food reappears on the menu. However, the Martin laboratory has discovered that mutations in a gene called Ras, which is involved in approximately 30% of human cancers, triggers excessive autophagy leading to auto-destruction of the fledgling tumour cell. Mutant Ras was found to switch cells into the self-eating mode by ramping up the production of Noxa. The study suggests that autophagy represents an important natural safeguard against cancer development.


Todd Hargrove said...

Jaminet is one of the few paleo guys who advocates low protein for exactly this reason.

Chris said...

Jaminet is fanatastic. I am a huge fan of his book and web site. He has got me eating tapioca again fir which I will always be grateful!