Secrets of the Cell – Self-Destructive Behavior in Cells May Hold Key to a Longer Life – Series – NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/science/06cell.html?_r=1&em

“Deep down, we are all cannibals. Our cells are perpetually devouring themselves, shredding their own complex molecules to pieces and recycling them for new parts. (…) In fact, as Dr. Klionsky wrote in a paper published online in Trends in Cell Biology, this cannibalism may extend our lifespan. (…) Unfortunately, as we get older, our cells lose their cannibalistic prowess. The decline of autophagy may be an important factor in the rise of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that become common in old age. Unable to clear away the cellular garbage, our bodies start to fail. (… ) Recent research has shown that caloric restriction raises autophagy in animals and keeps it high. The animals seem to be responding to their low-calorie diet by feeding on their own cells, as they do during famines. In the process, their cells may also be clearing away more defective molecules, so that the animals age more slowly.” Found at aliasinkhorn’s pages.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/science/06cell.html?_r=2&em

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