What is Autophagy?

Autophagy Oxford Healthspan

Autophagy Explained

Autophagy is your body's internal clear-up and spruce-up system: it bags and sorts parts of our cells into 'Rubbish' and 'Recycling.' 

Old proteins and organelles that no longer work are bagged up to be burned as energy for our bodies. Other parts that can be salvaged are efficiently put into a recyling bin to be turned into spanking new cells. 

In short, autophagy clears out damaged cells and regenerates new ones. 

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Natto Spermidine

Why is Autophagy Important?

Autophagy is fundamental to the proper functioning of our cells across our lifetimes. Without it, proteins, organelles and other cellular matter build up and begin to cause the cells to malfunction or even die. 

In 2016, Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for explaining autophagy's mechanism of action and demonstrating its key role in human health and preventing age-related diseases, such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and poor immunity. We are the only non-Japanese company to work with him and his team.

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What Is Autophagy?: Interview with Nobel Prize Winning Scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi

What are the Benefits of Autophagy?

Healthy aging

Bone strength

Cardiovascular health

Memory and cognition

Immune function

Hair growth

Increased lifespan

Reduced inflammation

The benefits of fasting

Skin & nail strength

How to Induce Autophagy

Both fasting and intermittent fasting can stimulate autophagy. However, new research suggests that fasting might not be as healthy as previously thought. This is especially the case for women and those with hormonal conditions. Luckily, there are other ways to activate autophagy.

Natto Spermidine


Spermidine is a naturally-occurring polyamine that has been proven to stimulate autophagy. This can be found in foods like shiitake mushrooms, mature Cheddar cheese, the long fermented Japanese soybean dish, natto, and of course, Primeadine spermidine supplements. Primeadine is derived from concentrated wheat germ extract, which is the highest source of spermidine.

The Keto Diet

Eating a diet that is rich in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates (particularly refined ones) shifts your body from using glucose to ketones, which could increase autophagy in itself. However, this diet is not recommended as a long-term solution.

High-Intensity Exercise

Two studies suggest that exercise induces autophagy and another study found that both steady state and high intensity exercise could do this. However, another study concluded that intensity of exercise could be the biggest determinant of the extent to which autophagy is induced.

Deep, Restorative Sleep

One study on rodents suggests that autophagy follows our natural circadian rhythms and that interruptions to sleep could disrupt the process of autophagy.

Autophagy Summary

Autophagy is essential to optimal cellular function. Without it, our cells malfunction or die and we become susceptible to the diseases of ageing, including heart disease, poor immunity and Alzheimer's, among others. It's the not just the key to a longer life, but to a healthier one.

Those of us who live until age 65 will likely have another 17 years of life, if not more as science continues to push the envelope on lifespan. But a longer life does not necessarily mean a happy one if it is marked by illness and poor health.

But we know it doesn't have to be that way. Using tricks like autophagy we can tap into the body's own unique ability to repair and renew itself and enjoy vitality in what we like to think of as the new prime of life.  

If you lead a hectic life and find it hard to implement some of the diet and exercise strategies above, Primeadine could be the solution you need.

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Denis Noble

Dr. Katja Simon

Dr. Ghada Alsaleh

Dr. Sasi Senga

Clinical Advisory Board

Dr. Paul Ch'en

Dr. Sandra Kaufmann

Dr. Olivia Lesslar

Amy Lamotte


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