Our bodies’ cells disintegrate and then recycle their own parts constantly. In 2016, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, from Japan, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the mechanisms behind this process known as autophagy. Most of the tissues in our bodies replace their cells with new ones on a regular basis. Each organ needs its own time to renew itself completely. However, other tissues never replace their cells.
An investigation with a revealing result
Dr. Ohsumi, a Japanese cell biologist, spent years studying how human cells recycle their trash. This process is scientifically known as autophagy. It is composed of the Greek words, “auto” which means “self” and “phagein” which can be translated as “eating”. It sounds a bit disturbing, but this process helps to keep you stable. With the help of lysosomes (organelles responsible for degrading intracellular material), your body can break down different protein structures and transform them into amino acids. Later, it uses this to create more cells.
Our body can use its own protein supply stored in the form of damaged cells and bacteria. The average person consumes approximately 70 g of protein daily which is not enough to create new cells. When using the “protein waste”, your body is nourished with the necessary amount. When the natural recycling mechanism doesn’t work, the damaged cells and their components begin to accumulate in the body. Thus, it’s not possible to neutralize cancer cells and cells infected with dangerous bacteria and viruses. That’s why you can end up with many serious diseases.