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Fasting and Autophagy
Fasting, by definition, means abstaining from eating

Fasting, a practice with historical roots in various cultures, has recently garnered significant interest in the field of medicine.

In this article, we delve into the mechanisms underlying fasting-induced autophagy.

We explore the therapeutic potential of fasting on spike protein-related pathology and the role of interventions to upregulate autophagy, including compounds like Spermidine, Resveratrol, Curcumin and Nattokinase.

Fasting has been used by multiple different spiritual and medicinal traditions, including ancient Greek medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Indigenous medicine of the Americas, Shamanic medicine, and the Islamic world.

There are a great many indigenous cultures that practice some form of fasting or food deprivation. Additionally, fasting may help in various diseases, particularly metabolic disorders, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases.

While fasting is identified for its therapeutic effect in these other instances, fasting is a potent inducer of autophagy.


There is a therapeutic potential of autophagy in treating spike protein related ailments, including long COVID-19 and post-vaccination syndrome from COVID-19 vaccines encoding the spike protein. Induction of autophagy can be facilitated via several therapeutic avenues, which include fasting and nutritional support.

Spike protein can induce mitochondrial damage, leading to decreased mitochondrial energy production. A wide variety of other harms are attributed to the spike protein, including inflammation, vascular damage, potential disruption of the blood-brain barrier, and the formation of aggregates. Concerningly, spike protein bodies have been found in cardiac and brain tissue in the autopsies of both people deceased of severe COVID-19, as well as those deceased in temporal relation to receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Autophagy has two major roles in treating spike-protein related illness. As spike protein both damages mitochondria and inhibits their clearance through mitophagy, it is important to clear out the damaged mitochondria and restore proper energy function. Additionally, the other role is the removal of the spike protein itself.


Time -restricted eating (TRE) and Intermittent fasting (IF) are effective methods to activate autophagy and mitophagy. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a nutrient sensor and regulator of cell growth that is activated by glucose and protein (leucine) which switch on the pathway, inhibiting autophagy. Under low nutrient conditions, mTOR is deactivated, which enables autophagy.

Time -restricted eating (TRE) is a type of fasting where food intake is limited to a short window during the day (1 to 8 h), with only fluids such as water, tea, or coffee for the rest of the day. (No sugar or milk).

Intermittent fasting (IF) usually involves a longer period of fasting; the most common is alternative day fasting (24-h fasting, followed by a 24-h eating window). However, many people fast for several days

(3 - 7 days, or even up to 14 days) followed by slow refeeding.

TRE and IF have many metabolic, cellular, and immunologic benefits. It is important to emphasize that TRE/IF are not synonymous with caloric restriction (CR), though people do tend to eat less following a fasting regimen. Additionally, eating nutrient-dense and high-protein foods can decrease the sensation of hunger.

More extended (1–2 days) fasting, can increase basal metabolic rate (BMR) and growth hormone (GH) levels. Calorie-matched studies show a greater improvement in metabolic parameters (insulin sensitivity) in individuals adopting IF as opposed to CR.


Fasting has a profound effect on promoting immune system homeostasis.

Fasting improves mitochondrial health and protects hematopoietic stem cells from damage.

Fasting may be an effective therapy for the treatment of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes.

Intermittent fasting prolongs health-span, alleviating the symptoms/curing many chronic diseases.

Fasting prevents cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's Disease) and cancer.


Increasing the level of autophagy is important to increase the rate at which foreign proteins and aggregates can be cleared. This section describes pharmacological supplementation strategies to induce or upregulate autophagy.

2.1. Spermidine

Spermidine is a polyamine which can stimulate autophagy. It is found in high concentrations in wheat germ and other vegetables. In human trials, spermidine improved memory performance in older adults at risk for dementia.

2.2. Caffeine

Multiple articles have demonstrated a link between caffeine consumption and enhanced autophagy in in-vivo studies.

Resveratrol is a plant phytochemical (non-flavonoid polyphenol) that is a potent inducer of autophagy. In addition, Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and has beneficial effects on the microbiome. Resveratrol activates the fasting state and inhibits mTOR-related inhibition of autophagy.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, has antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. In addition, this spice has anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating properties, and potent anti-cancer activity. Curcumin activates autophagy. Curcumin has low solubility in water and is poorly absorbed by the body; consequently, it is traditionally taken with full-fat milk/yogurt and black pepper, the latter of which greatly enhances bioavailability.

2.5 Nattokinase 

Nattokinase is a fibrinolytic compound derived from the fermentation of soy which functions as a thrombolytic and fibrinolytic compound. It is likely that Nattokinase breaks down spike protein incorporated in fibroid-amyloid clots as well as membrane bound spike protein and extracellular spike protein. Nattokinase’ s ability to break down intracellular spike has not been tested, and little is known about its membrane permeability, however, it is possible that Nattokinase can enter the cell to degrade intracellular spike protein.

Autophagy is a promising technique to remove foreign proteins and restore cellular function, as well as restoring cellular energy production.

In conclusion, fasting, coupled with modifiable lifestyle factors, as well as pharmacological factors can upregulate autophagy. Autophagy holds promise as a therapeutic intervention for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein related diseases and other disorders. Autophagy has much potential in the future of medicine with broad implications for human health.

Disclaimer/publisher's note: The statements, opinions and data contained herein are solely for informational purposes. The author disclaims responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions, or products referred to in the content.


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