I find the topic of autophagy fascinating.
The article Autophagy – the housekeeper in every cell that fights aging provides an in-depth discussion of autophagy and what is happening at a cellular level. It has a highlight section for the Top 16 Key Facts about Autopagy
The only concept I had of our bodies getting rid of defective or no longer wanted components was doing number 1 or number 2 (urination, defecation). I had never really given any thought to what other processes were taking place in the human body. Autophagy “is a tightly regulated process that plays a normal part in cell growth, development, and homeostasis, helping to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products”.
Generally, our bodies are always seeking balance/homeostasis. The idea that manifestation of what presents as disease was actually a manifestation of the body compensating and trying to achieve homeostasis, that is, the body trying to repair/fix itself, came up a while back. I learned about it from the Weston A. Price Foundation who provides information on the man who researched the impact of decreased nutrient density of food on isolated non-industrialized peoples. I was aware of the importance of diet on degenerative diseases and the idea of diet and gene expression but didn’t know about our built in mechanisms for cleaning and cellular correction.
If you search for information on autophagy and fasting, a lot of articles also discuss the topic in the context of longevity and fighting conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. It can be quite heady/scientific to read, but even someone without a science background can understand some of the concepts. I do not pretend to follow all of the diagrams and physiologic terminology but none the less the topic is fascinating.