Autophagy Treatment For Parkinsons And Other Neurological Disease

Autophagy treatment for Parkinson’s and other Neurological Disease

Autophagy is important because our health relies heavily on well-functioning cells. Autophagy is a natural destruction of a cell to remove unnecessary or dysfunctional sections. It is a mechanism that is regulated and lysosome-dependent which will be explained below. Yoshinori Ohsumi discovered the mechanisms involved in autophagy. His studies revealed how cells recycle their contents. When it comes to neurodegenerative diseases toxic proteins tend to gather within brain cells called neurons. Unfortunately, neurons are irreplaceable. To stop this from happening the neurons need to continuously recycle proteins and break them down into small amino acids. This then helps to avoid a toxic build-up of large proteins. Autophagy helps this to happen.

The autophagy process works by isolating unwanted proteins. It puts them into isolation membranes called autophagosomes. The unwanted proteins are dumped into a part of the cell called a lysosome then recycled. If this process doesn’t happen or isn’t working properly harmful proteins can start to build up.

Autophagy Helps Prevent Neurological Degeneration

When autophagy isn’t working properly researchers believe that by activating the process, or repairing the mechanism they can help treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is because the autophagy process will naturally clear out harmful proteins. Certain cancer drugs can trigger autophagy. They activate a protein called parkin used in autophagy. However, cancer drugs work by killing cancer cells, and it can also be toxic to other cells. Research has also found that culture mode cultured cancer cells died while cultured neurons survived after being treated with a few different autophagy-stimulating cancer drugs. They also introduced toxic proteins into the cultured neuronal cells, then treated them with these few cancer drugs that were found to activate autophagy and destroy tumours. Results found that cells treated with these drugs survived and cleared toxic proteins and the untreated cells died.

There can be complications with activating autophagy because while it clears toxins or infection from cells it can sometimes go further than clearing out proteins and start to destroy the cell causing it to then die. So when it comes to using autophagy as a treatment we need to make sure the process is carefully manipulated to avoid the death of non-renewable and irreplaceable neurons.


Fasting can reverse diabetes and regenerate your pancreas. Researchers found that fasting and eating in cycles generates some insulin-producing beta cells. These resemble those during pancreatic development. Beta cells are important as they detect sugar in your blood and they also release insulin if blood sugar levels are too high. By restoring pancreatic function, you can also help to reverse diabetic symptoms. This research and its findings are important as it shows that we could potentially use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes, and also to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations.

Other strategies for Activating Autophagy

  • One strategy you can use is to time your nutrient intake. This means you eat fats first and healthy carbohydrates last. After fasting your first meal will consist of fat. At the end of the day, you will have carbohydrates. We need quality carbohydrates for good health. The benefits are you recover, relax and get ready for sleep.
  • Another strategy is cyclical exercise. This is when every second day you do 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training or resistance training. This helps to trigger autophagy.
  • Certain foods also trigger autophagy. Foods such as citrus bergamot tea, green tea and turmeric.
  • You could also activate adenosine monophosphate. Protein kinase or AMPK activates this. To do this you need to eat a proper diet and take nutritional supplements. AMPK is an enzyme that stimulates mitochondrial autophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis. It also stimulates five other very important pathways, including insulin, leptin, mammalian target of rapamycin, insulin-like growth factor 1 and proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha. It can also increase nerve growth and help protect against the type of oxidative stress that can lead to Parkinson’s disease. As we get older our AMPK levels decline. Other factors such as dietary habits such as eating too much unhealthy fat and not enough of healthy fats, getting insufficient amounts of antioxidants can also have as effect on your AMPK levels. Insulin resistance is also a powerful inhibitor of AMPK. AMPK is activated by pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and berberine.

How do we do this?

So addressing autophagy is very important and can help significantly in preventing disease. Especially diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Without the process of autophagy, your cells will eventually become filled up with toxins and debris, and they will start to malfunction or die. Once this happens your body will be unable to efficiently clear those cells out which will in turn make the problem worse. It is important to remember that it is not very difficult to get autophagy moving. Fasting is a quick way, exercise and adding certain foods and supplements to your diet also help. Why not ask your naturopath about doing the proper detox to get your cells working for you instead of against you. Check out other ways that your body will benefit from food and a healthy detox on

There is nothing that can replace a good, supervised, balanced detox! Consult your natural therapist now.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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