Autophagy: A Functional Medicine Guide To Your Body’s Cellular Renewal Process + How To Increase It

Source: Dr. Will Cole

May 19, 2022

In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I often get asked what the key is to achieving perfect health. While that answer varies for each person, there is one important thing that often goes overlooked - regardless of who you are - and that is your cellular health.

Known as the “building blocks of life” your body contains over 200 different types of cells that combine together to form your muscles, bones, and organs. In fact, your body contains almost 37.2 trillion cells and produces 25 million new cells every second that are responsible for taking in and converting nutrients into energy and keeping your body functioning properly.

All this to say, caring for your cells is essential for thriving health.

What damages cellular health?

Each one of your cells has its own life cycle - aging and renewing itself to remain active. However, over time our cells can become damaged and weak. While this is a normal part of the overall aging process, certain lifestyle factors can speed up this damage. Everything from a poor diet, toxin exposure, and chronic stress can contribute to oxidative stress and the production of free radicals that end up damaging our cells.

What happens when cells are damaged?

Since your cells are responsible for keeping every system of your body functioning properly, damage can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Heart disease
  • Wrinkles and other signs of skin aging
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immunity

That’s why it's vital we take ownership over our cellular health and have an active role in making sure our cell’s thrive - not just survive.

The secret to keeping cells healthy

Even though we can’t put a hard stop on our bodies natural aging process or eliminate all lifestyle triggers, we can actively counteract the cellular aging process through a process known as autophagy.

Autophagy is your body’s cellular recycling process that works to break down damaged cells and recycle them out of your system. This also makes way for new, healthy cells to be produced by promoting healthy cellular metabolism. In fact, autophagy is so significant to our health that the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded in 2016 for how much progress has been made in studying this process.

Thankfully there are many simple, easy ways to increase autophagy in your body.

1. Intermittent fasting

Giving your body a break from food for extended periods of time has been proven to help with a variety of health problems including inflammation, blood sugar levels, and brain health. Studies have also shown intermittent fasting’s ability to improveautophagy in the body for anti-aging and renewed cellular health. (1)

2. High-intensity exercise

We all know that daily movement is important for our health. But exercise has been linked to an increase in autophagy and the cellular renewal process. (2)

3. Superfoods

Researchers have found that certain foods like green tea, turmeric, and berries can help boost autophagy due to their high levels of antioxidants like quercetin, catechins, and curcumin. (3)

Because of how important autophagy is for encouraging overall health, I want to do everything in my power to support this process in my own life as well as my patient’s.

Since not everyone is able to intermittent fast or exercise 24/7, there has to be a different, more sustainable way to promote autophagy on a daily basis. So when I found SpermidineLIFE I knew it was going to be a game-changer.

Developed after 10+ years of research by the world’s leading autophagy researchers, SpermidineLIFE contains high-quality wheat-germ extract packed with spermidine - a compound praised for its powerful ability to increase autophagy.

Due to its intensive, proven effectiveness at encouraging cellular renewal, SpermidineLIFE has become the go-to supplement used in clinical trials to study and affirm spermidine and autophagy’s wide-ranging health benefits.

All it takes to start supporting your body’s autophagy is a daily two-capsule dose that is:

  • Suitable for vegan and vegetarians
  • Free of artificial colors and flavors
  • Free of nuts, lactose, and caffeine
  • 100% GMO-free

Plus, SpermidineLIFE ensures the absolute best with their exclusive extraction process that only uses purified water and an encapsulation process that guarantees the integrity and nutritional value of the spermidine in each capsule.

So start improving your health from the foundational, cellular level and try SpermidineLIFE with my code “COLE25” at checkout for 25% off your first order!

As one of the first functional medicine telehealth clinics in the world, we provide webcam health consultations for people around the globe.




  1. Jamshed, Humaira et al. “Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves 24-Hour Glucose Levels and Affects Markers of the Circadian Clock, Aging, and Autophagy in Humans.” Nutrients vol. 11,6 1234. 30 May. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11061234

  2. Mooren, Frank C, and Karsten Krüger. “Exercise, Autophagy, and Apoptosis.” Progress in molecular biology and translational science vol. 135 (2015): 407-22. doi:10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.07.023

  3. Kathrin Pallauf, Gerald Rimbach, Autophagy, polyphenols and healthy ageing, Ageing Research Reviews, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2013, Pages 237-252, ISSN 1568-1637,