In episode 59 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Autophagy (Pronounced: ‘Ah-Tah-Fah-Gee’) is a process where the body rids itself of old cells and debris and cleanses itself of toxins. There are natural ways that you can increase autophagy in the body, and one is through “fasting”. Fasting has been around for centuries with reason. It can be achieved in many ways, so researching which method is right for you, is essential.
When you fast, the body uses the available storage of glycogen in the body. For most people, that is about the first twelve hours. Once your glycogen stores have run out, then the body goes through lipolysis, which is the mobilization of fat that is in storage. Once you have used up the stored glycogen energy, the body has to target the fat cells, and they get oxidized in the liver, which results in ketone production. Ketones create a cleaner burning fuel for the body to use.
Ketones increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF. BDNF is like a switch that raises the brain’s ability to generate new cells and to repair existing ones. BDNF also increases the neurons in the brain, which are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters.
When ketones go up, studies have shown that your GABA to glutamate ratio improves. When you have a better ratio, or balance, between GABA and glutamate, it has a calming effect. This balance also has an anti-depressive and anti-anxiety quality that helps people to focus better and to enhance their mood stabilization and cognitive abilities.
The central governor theory is a theory that if the brain works better, then the entire body works better, in a top-down effect. Usually, symptoms of fatigue are really just the brain telling the body it is tired. If the brain has more energy, then the body has more energy. Therefore, fasting signals the body to target fat cells, which increases your ketone production. That leads to a better BDNF, which enhances mood, makes you more focused, and provides better cognitive ability. Fasting also gives your liver and other eliminating organs time to catch up and rid the body of toxins and waste. If you want to increase your health from top-down, consider fasting to increase autophagy’s many health benefits.