How to Boost Autophagy without Fasting

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How to Boost Autophagy without Fasting - Thomas DeLauer

Foods that Promote Autophagy

*AMPK gets triggered when your body needs to generate energy in a fuel deprived state - Fasting and glycogen depletion put you into a caloric deficit, which then ramps up your body’s adaptation mechanisms - AMPK triggers autophagy*

Green Tea (EGCG)

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a major polyphenol in green tea that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-steatotic effects on the liver

A study in the journal PLoS One found that EGCG increases hepatic autophagy by promoting the formation of autophagosomes and by stimulating autophagic flux in hepatic cells

EGCG increases phosphorylation of AMPK, one of the major regulators of autophagy

Also observed that lipid droplet within autophagosomes and autolysosomes and increased lipid clearance by EGCG - all that means is that EGCG promotes lipid metabolism by increasing autophagy


A study in the journal Biomedical and Environmental Sciences found that the polyphenols in green tea alleviate autophagy inhibition induced by high glucose, which shows the protective effects of green tea against hyperglycemia


This study, published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, looked to investigate the anticancer effect of 6-shogaol (an active constituent of ginger) in human non-small cell lung cancer (A549) cells

6-Shogaol inhibited cell proliferation by inducing autophagic cell death, but not, predominantly, apoptosis
*Pretreatment of cells with 3-methyladenine (3-MA), an autophagy inhibitor, suppressed 6-shogaol mediated antiproliferation activity, suggesting that induction of autophagy by 6-shogaol is conducive to cell death*

Also found that 6-shogaol inhibited survival signaling through the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway by blocking the activation of AKT and downstream targets, including the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)

Phosphorylation of both of mTOR's downstream targets, p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6 kinase) and 4E-BP1, was also diminished

Simply, 6-Shogaol, the active constituent of ginger, induces autophagy by inhibiting the AKT/mTOR pathway

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, curcumin induced autophagy in the A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell line

Moreover, the autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, partly blocked the inhibitory effect of curcumin on the growth of A549 cells

Curcumin markedly increased the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetylCoA carboxylase in A549 cells

Simply, curcumin induces autophagy via activating the AMPK signaling pathway [autophagy can be activated by curcumin (via the AMPK signaling pathway)]


Study in the journal Nutrition & Cancer found that reishi suppresses proliferation of human colon cancer cells HT-29 and inhibits tumor growth in a xenograft model of colon cancer

we show that GLT induces formation of autophagic vacuoles and upregulates expression of Beclin-1 (1.3-fold increase) and LC-3 (7.3-fold increase) proteins in colon cancer cells

Autophagy is mediated through the inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) because p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB202190, induces autophagy and expression of Beclin-1 (1.2-fold increase) and LC-3 (7.4-fold increase), and GLT suppresses phosphorylation of p38 MAPK ( approximately 60% inhibition) in colon cancer cells


1) Green Tea Polyphenols, Mimicking the Effects of Dietary Restriction, Ameliorate High-Fat Diet-Induced Kidney Injury via Regulating Autophagy Flux. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2) Green Tea Polyphenols Alleviate Autophagy Inhibition Induced by High Glucose in Endothelial Cells. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) Zhou J , et al. (n.d.). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol, stimulates hepatic autophagy and lipid clearance. - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved from

4) Hung JY , et al. (n.d.). 6-Shogaol, an active constituent of dietary ginger, induces autophagy by inhibiting the AKT/mTOR pathway in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 c... - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved from

5) Xiao K , et al. (n.d.). Curcumin induces autophagy via activating the AMPK signaling pathway in lung adenocarcinoma cells. - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved from

6) Thyagarajan A , et al. (n.d.). Triterpenes from Ganoderma Lucidum induce autophagy in colon cancer through the inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated kinase (p38 MAPK). - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved from
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