Should you help your body eat itself?
TLDR; Fasting can extend your life.
Something I often look to do with my teammates is find ways to bond. Looking for something unique to relate to someone on not only helps build a relationship, but expands my own horizons.
Last year, a teammate explained to me that he participates in a quarterly 80-hour water fast. That is, Sunday night to Thursday morning with no food, just water.
The obvious first question is “why?”
Will spare you the longer read this morning, but introduce one reason—the science of autophagy.
Autophagy, “auto” meaning self and “phagy” meaning eat, it’s meaning is literally “self-eating".”
When you fast for an extended period of time, it has been observed that your body will clean out damaged cells, eating itself so-to-speak, and regenerating newer healthy cells in their place.
This process is said to remove toxic proteins attributed to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and a myriad of other potential benefits like reduced inflammation, muscle growth & repair, and killing cancel cells, among other benefits still being studied.
Though only one small component of the growing field in longevity & healthspan, I think we will all see a lot more progress made on how to extend our healthy years and our total life through the understanding of the body at a cellular level.
Of course, taking it one step further to an 80-hour water fast isn’t for the faint of heart, but a physical and mental challenge you might see become more mainstream.
And as for bonding, I have 20 peers in my OnDeck Longevity Fellowship taking part this week, so wish us luck!
See you Monday.