Here we will get acquainted with new ideas in biology that will help us to get sick less often and to live longer.
It would seem that what can be more banal than the food process? But simplicity is deceptive. The most interesting discoveries of recent years in one way or another are connected with it, or rather, with a diet. But first about who eats.
Here is a shredder. One of the smallest among our kindred creatures. She eats continuously, stopping only at sleep. If the shredder does not eat 6 hours, she dies. The habitual diet for her - 70 times a day.
This is a salamander, an amphibian. Some of its species are able to do without food for several years. At the same time they become twice smaller, but recovering, they can again repeat their feat.
Salamanders are renowned for the ability to recover lost body parts. Maybe both of these abilities are related to each other? Crocodiles and snakes (reptiles, terrestrial vertebrates, "baddies") are able to live by eating once a year. Sometimes "snake charmers" simply sew snake mouths.
Man. Not a shredder nor a salamander. The longest medically confirmed break in taking food was 250 days. Of course, this person has not died, but only lost more than 100 kg of fat. So what to eat every day, strictly speaking, is not necessary. And making pauses in food is not deadly, but experience shows, even useful for health. For a long time it was believed that the best diet is regular eating - that is, daily (and repeated). However, in the thirties of the last century, it was discovered an interesting fact that equally applies to people: if mice feed on a daily basis, they live 3 years, and if you feed a week, do not feed a week - much longer.This is very strange. Now, according to modern ideas, the average life expectancy is a genetically endowed species. The mouse lives for 3 years, the cat is 20 years old, the elephant is 80. If the diet increases the life span by 1/3, this is equivalent to a change in the level of genes, that is epigenetics.
The interrupted mode of food was called "cyclic fasting". Studies at the cellular level have shown that in such tissues as the heart and the liver, during cyclic fasting, the number of working cells increases by 30-40%. That is, the functional capacity of the body increases. At the same time, no pathological phenomena in the tissues are observed(Цимерман В.Г.). It was also found that in mice with infertility with blood cancer (leukemia), if you use cyclic fasting, life expectancy is doubled(Зиновьев Ю. В.). The study of other animals, including monkeys, confirmed the assumption that eating "whenever and how much you want" is far from the best way to maintain health and longevity.
What have we lost? The importance of eating a food in a pause. She has always been present in nature as an external factor of evolution, but it is not with us. We can assume that the introduction of a food break into our diet will include the same biological mechanisms that allow mice to live longer and get less sick. In practice, we have been convinced that cyclic fasting has a powerful therapeutic effect. It already allows you to get rid of many "chronically incurable diseases", so that longevity is available not only to mice.
Usually, the health effects of hunger strike are confused and foggy: toxins, reduced load and rest of the digestive system, overweight, etc. Unconvincing and not constructive. Here are some ideas relating to starvation, which appeared in recent years in biological science.
Apoptosis This term was proposed to describe an unusual phenomenon. The multicellular organism is constantly deprived of some cells (old, sick, damaged) than it increases its survival as a whole. He just eats them, and the mechanism launches the cell itself. The amplification of apoptosis during fasting explains why the function of many organs improves, the level of viral load decreases, immunity becomes stronger and so on. Number of cells in the body - constant value; if part of the old and diseased cells are "eaten", their place after a hunger is ready to take new, young and healthy. No less interesting phenomenon "assymetric aging".
In the process of separation, the intracellular debris of the parent cell concentrates only in one part of it, why one of the daughter cells becomes cleaner and younger, while the other is more dirtier and shows a higher tendency to apoptosis.
A study conducted on monkeys showed that such "longevity genes" were successfully activated in monkeys with high social status, but keep silent from those in the lower ranks of the hierarchy. Perhaps voluntary fasting is also a way to become "over a social system"?
It has long been noted that in developed democracies life expectancy is always higher than where it is not.
Sirtuin (pills from old age). A relatively recent discovery has been made, which has made a lot of noise. Scientists who studied periodically starving animals, found that an increase in life expectancy in them is associated with protein sirtuin. This protein was intensively synthesized by the SIRT1 gene during fasting, but the synthesis "calmed down" after it. The discovery caused great interest in the scientific circles and the media. Some called sirtuin the key to longevity. As a result, the production of various rejuvenating creams, medicines and other commercial products containing sirtuin began. Resveratrol (most commonly associated with polyphenols of red grapes) is one of the plant stertins.
However, more careful studies have not confirmed the role of SIRT1 in increasing life expectancy. New experiments have confirmed the fact that caloric restriction increases life expectancy, while activating the synthesis of sirens. But replacing the diet with protein will not work - it's just a "byproduct" rejuvenates fasting.
Ephigenetic. In each link of DNA, consisting of a multitude of genes (we have about 30,000 of them), changes are taking place in our lives. Some genes at the right time "slow down" their activity, others on the contrary - become active. It determines both our biological age and the processes that are now dominant in the body. What does this control? Not yet known. But studying this process- ephigenetic.
Each animal has its own "biological clock", which clearly regulates the pace of life and its duration. As a rule, the clock does not stop suddenly, against the background of full health. This is preceded by the period of the appearance of "age-related changes and illnesses," and they are an executive mechanism to break life.
But not always. Here is an example- bee-uterus differs from its "subjects": it is twice the size, and lives 40 times longer than ordinary bees. In this case, working bees and womb do not have genetic differences. The difference is only one - several genes in its cells work differently. And it is caused only by the fact that it feeds a little differently - royal jelly. So, is the biological clock lagging behind?
In humans, like in bees, the change in the activity of certain genes leads to "the right moment" to illness and death. For example, a person can live with his genes half a life without knowing that he is prone to hypertension, diabetes or cancer. But the moment comes, the mechanism works - and here we are already "in front of the fact".
That «timely illenesses» programmed, does not question, and gives us hope to find their epigenetic treatment, and at the same time learn to slow down the aging.
Of course, for the survival of any species is beneficial, when the population consists mainly of young animals. But we are interested in the state of the personal biological clock that it can be reconfigured in order to make it less likely to hurt our lives and live longer, right?
Evolution solved the problem of unnecessary kind of longevity, leaving in the genome "bookmarks" in the form of genes of predisposition to one or another disease. It makes immortality impossible, and longevity is problematic. Such "bookmark" can be osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, weakening of immunity ... In general, ten minutes with a clock mechanism laid in our genes.
It's good that we are familiar with a good watchmaker who is called cyclic fasting.
Conclusions. In order to change the natural course of genetic events in the body (the onset of timely illness and death), it is necessary to periodically create a "state of emergency" so that its long-term programs are delayed for a while, and the priority is one: "How not to die today". Such a state of emergency is a food break. In it, the body is forced at the programmatic (genetic) level to seek the optimal solution, which returns natural health to it and promises longevity.
All this allows a new look at what happens when starving, and accordingly change the technique of its conduct.