It has been experimentally demonstrated that during periods of starvation, cells grown in culture will use lysosomes to engulf and break down non-essential organelles or other large macromolecules through a process known as autophagy. This degradation releases basic molecular building blocks that the cell can use to support its metabolism.
Interestingly, researchers observed that cell cultures subjected to repeated periods of starvation actually survived longer than cells that were cultured in a nutritionally-rich growth medium. Similarly, when tested at the organismal level, researchers found mice that were fed a diet with periodic calorie-restriction lived significantly longer than mice that were fed a full-calorie diet.
Based on your knowledge of cell biology, which of the following statements is MOST consistent with these experimental results?