Minimum fasting length required for autophagy | Guido Kroemer

[Rhonda]: The question that I had for you
is, like, I've talked with Dr. Valter Longo, he was on the podcast, and he talked quite
a bit about his research on prolonged fasting in both rodents and also in humans and how
the prolonged fast, at least, in rodents is 48 hours, which in humans is around 4 days,
4 to 5 days. And that was able to very robustly, not only
activate autophagy, but also cell death, and that was followed by a regeneration period. But, the question is do we know what the minimum
amount of fasting time is for humans or rodents that can activate autophagy? So for example, when I'm not pregnant, I usually
followed a very time restricted eating schedule where I like to eat all of my food within
at least 10 hours, and then I fast for 14 hours every night. Some people do even more strict. They eat within 8 hours and they fast for
16 hours.

Does that 16-hour fast induce any autophagy
in any of our tissues? Is there any evidence, do we know? [Dr. Kroemer]: We don't know. So, Craig Thompson published a paper on circadian
variations in hepatic autophagy. So you know that mice don't eat during the
day and they eat during the night, and so, the entire cycle is inversed. And he observed that as a result of not eating
during the day, there was more autophagy in the liver. So this result is intriguing.

It has not been, to my knowledge, extrapolated
to other organs. And it still certainly requires more profound
studies. [Rhonda]: Okay. When you say during… [Dr. Kroemer]: So what we did on circulating
leukocytes is that we needed to wait for three or four days to see a massive induction of
autophagy. There's a fundamental difference between rodents
and humans, and so, the two days that you have been alluding to cause a 20% weight loss
in mice, that are, at this time point, at the verge of death. Another day would potentially kill them. And so, 20% is a lot, so imagine this for
yourself. [Rhonda]: In two days. [Dr. Kroemer]: In four days, a human being
only loses one to two percent of his or her weight. [Rhonda]: Is that because they have a higher
metabolism, rodents do, or…? [Dr. Kroemer]: Yeah, it's certainly linked
to the change in the surface volume ratio that is classically associated with an accelerated
metabolism..

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