Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercise and benefits of autophagy (self-eating)

Since I am addicted to running and post-work out endorphins, I don’t need additional reasons to exercise. However, I do love collecting info to try to convert others to my cause. This week’s Economist features an interesting study: Exercise and Longevity

Key points:
  • Exercise promotes autophagy (Greek for self-eating)
  • “Autophagy is mechanism where surplus, worn-out or malformed proteins and other components are broken up for scrap and recycle”
  • A study on mice showed that autophagy helps prevent diabetes, slow down ageing, fight bacterial infections, slow the onset of neurological conditions like Alzheimer's and Huntington’s diseases.
Previously, whenever I mentioned slowing the ageing process to my fellow Economist/NPR nerds, the topic of near-starvation diets arises. This would never work for me because I love food and need calories to fuel my runs. Next time this comes up I can mention vigorous exercise as a better solution :)

Also check out the article, A history of dieting: Binge and purge...really interesting facts on the history of dieting.

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