DAYP 38: Fasting for Autophagy (Not Weight Loss)

Here’s what’s on the healthspan menu today:

  • Fasting for Autophagy (Not Weight Loss)
  • Not Your Ordinary Gen Z Kid
  • Fertility and Heat

Fasting for Autophagy (Not Weight Loss)

Many people use intermittent fasting as a way to lose or maintain weight. While fasting is great for controlling weight, what’s better is the autophagy fasting triggers in your body.

Autophagy is a natural process that occurs in our bodies which breaks down cells and recycles and reuses their components to repair and make new cells.

What are the benefits of autophagy? One benefit is to lessen the risk of cancer. Autophagy prevents toxins from accumulating in a damaged cell and prevents those cells from gathering and causing tumors.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased longevity
  • Protects mental health
  • Fights infectious diseases

To boost the amount of autophagy in your body there are 2 main ways, exercise, and fasting. When you eat you signal your cells to grow and build. However, when you fast you do the opposite. You signal your body to repair broken cells and break down old cells for energy.

The key to increasing the amount of autophagy is the time between meals for your fast. Just waiting an hour or 2 will not trigger much autophagy. The key signal is having a low liver glycogen amount which happens after a 14 to 16-hour fast.

So if you want to potentially live longer and have a better quality of life, fasting could be a good tool you use.

Not Your Ordinary Gen Z Kid

At the ripe old age of 26, Mikey Musumeci is a 5x Black Belt World Champion. Mikey is a masterful BJJ practitioner who treats Jujitsu as an art.

He’s won the IBJJF world championships at every level starting as a juvenile and received his black belt at the age of 18.

He recently signed with ONE Championship in 2022 and is currently the 135lb title holder.

What’s also interesting about Mikey is that he only eats one meal a day of pasta and pizza.

I guess you can do that when you train for 12 hours a day! He trains for the majority of his waking hours almost every day. Mikey doesn’t sit idle on his rest days as he uses them for long runs to get his blood flowing.

After years of trying other diets, Mikey found a training regiment and nutrition plan that works for him and his lifestyle.

While he is an outlier, it goes to show what total dedication, focus, and a passion-driven purpose can help us achieve.

Fertility and Heat

Can being exposed to heat in the form of saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis lower fertility in men?

The short answer is yes. Studies show that both jacuzzis and saunas can lower fertility due to excessive heat. For optimal sperm production, testicles need to be 3.5 to 7 degrees cooler than the body’s temperature.

One study of Finnish men who underwent only two 15-minute sauna sessions per week for 3 months found that the use of saunas had a significant negative effect on their sperm production.

The good news is that in the majority of cases, this sperm-lowering effect was reversible. One study showed that about 6 months after heat exposure ended, sperm production returned to normal.

When the sperm count returns to normal depends on the duration and temperature of the heat and on the individual’s health profile and existing sperm count.

For those that are trying to conceive, it’s best to temporarily stop using the sauna.

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"Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging."

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