Autophagy article on BBC website today - Fasting experiences?

There’s an interesting article on BBC site today re chap who won Nobel prize for science in '16 looking at autophagy kickstarted by fasting diets being possibly helpful for combating the protein clusters in Parkie brains. I was wondering if anyone had experience of fasting diets and PD.

Can the science of autophagy boost your health?

Hi jelly woman lol what a great name!

I have tried fasting in the past but not kept it up it’s really hard to do. However I haven’t given up on the idea and for the past month I have been eating extremely healthily following the high fat low carb example broadly based on the fight Parkinson‘s model. I have recently contacted a nutritionist to make sure my diet is okay and also to talk to her about fasting so I will let you know how things go. I find it very interesting and I am prepared to try most things to be honest because I am not getting any better on the meds that’s for sure!
Best wishes

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I’d certainly be interested to see how you get on with nutritionist. I’ve tried the 5/2 thing in the past but find it made me very very grumpy! It feels someone had stolen my chocolate. I’m sorry of looking at the 16/9 model at the moment (aka skipping breakfast!)

I’m sure diet must have an impact on the dopamine. I THINK my tremor is worse when I’ve had a high carb treat, but it’s difficult to be sure, as I get excited by the thought of cake anyway.

Glad you like the name. This is how I decided on it.

Sort of. Not sorry of.

Hi @Jellywoman,

Thanks for sharing this information with us. Apologies for my delayed response, however, I raised this with our research department and was awaiting their response. They shared with me the following information:

_Autophagy is a process where cells degrade and recycle their components. There are various molecular mechanisms that have been linked to Parkinson’s, including changes in autophagy. _

There has been some research to suggest that intermittent fasting may increase autophagy, and lead to health benefits. However the research so far has been done mainly in rats and mice, and it’s not yet clear how this research translates into humans.

We’re currently working on a blog about diets and we’ll share this with you once it’s ready.

I hope you find this information useful.

Best wishes,

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XFor the scientifically minded there are some lectures on autophagy and neurodegenerative diseases on YouTube, e.g.

There is a growing awareness that the body has natural defence mechanisms against the unwanted build up of proteins like alpha-synuclein, which is associated with PD (and also the proteins linked to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s).

A slow down in autophagy is associated with ageing so it is possible that one of the causes of PD is a faster than normal degradation of this process (perhaps a bit like getting grey hair earlier in life). As per the BBC article, researchers are looking for ways to safely boost the natural process of autophagy.

Would be interesting to see some proper trials on diet induced autophagy (as well as ketogenic diets)… sounds like Parkinson’s UK are taking a lead on the topic…

Hi Folks,

I’ve been doing a 3 Day Fast each month for the past 21 months. It is not that hard to do.

I would defo try it once you’ve convinced yourself of the science

I was diagnosed with PD two years ago and am currently on medication (Madopar). My main problem is tremor in my right hand and I walk differently not sure exactly how just feel different on my right side. I have been interested in time restricted eating after researching it on youtube etc and have been doing the 16/8 plan for a few weeks about 3/4 times per week. I have noticed every time I do this eating plan my tremor is much better and I also feel much better in myself with more energy and motivation. I felt I had to write this after watching the documentary last night on BBC1 about the drug trials which was such a huge disappointment to everyone with PD, especially the volunteers. I believe that to have some hope that things can improve in this disease and whilst I realise that fasting is not a cure if it helps slow this awful disease down then that has got to be something worth exploring.