Turn Back The Clock With MitoQ

Introduction and background.

In the mid-1950s, Professor Denham Harman from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, proposed the theory that aging results from accumulated damage inflicted by free radicals. Initially the theory had little support. However, with the discovery of mitochondrially produced hydrogen peroxide, the theory gained increased acceptance. Further support came from studies demonstrating that administering externally produced antioxidants and heightening antioxidant expression within the body increased some invertebrate lifespans.

In 1972, Professor Harman proposed the Mitochondrial Theory of Aging (MTA), which is considered an extension of the free radical hypothesis. According to this theory, aging is due to the cumulative effects of damage wrought by free radicals on the mitochondrial DNA and function.

To better understand the mitochondrial theory of aging, it is necessary to understand something about mitochondria.

Mitochondria are rod-shaped, double-membraned cellular organelles around 0.5-10mM in length. First identified in the 1840s, mitochondria are now known to regulate iron metabolism, programmed cell death, and cellular division and differentiation. Mitochondria also produce roughly 90 percent of the cell’s energy needs, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Not surprisingly, they are concentrated in organs that require the most energy, like the brain, heart and liver.

MitoQ Picture

Mitochondria, aging, and MitoQ

Aging is defined as a degenerative process that is associated with progressive accumulation of deleterious changes with time, reduction of physiological function and increase in the chance of disease and death. Studies over several species have revealed a wide spectrum of alterations in mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA with aging. These changes include:

  • Increased disorganization of mitochondrial structure
  • Decline in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation function,
  • Accumulation of mtDNA mutation,
  • Increased mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species
  • Increased extent of oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids.

Recent research reported in April, 2014 by Rachel Gioscia-Ryan, from the Department of Integrative Physiology, CU-Boulder, has uncovered that the mitochondria have a much wider function than previously thought and that any defects in their operation can lead to cellular breakdown. These breakdowns have been linked to diseases and pathologies like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, sepsis, heart problems, and the early onset of aging.

Mitochondria use oxygen to breakdown carbohydrates and fats to provide energy. But, with aging, these cell-drivers can release damaging particles as a waste product which can cause arteries to deteriorate because of oxidative damage.

Supplements now exist which can improve mitochondrial function and lead to improved health. Since they are supplements, they provide a safer alternative to the replacement therapies, and they can be used by both men and women.

One example of these supplements is MitoQ, a product that specifically targets antioxidants and enhances the function of the mitochondria. There an additional anti-aging function provided by MitoQ because it reduces gradual free radical damage to cell walls and DNA, thus slowing the process of aging. The benefits of targeting antioxidants have now been demonstrated through MitoQ testing on both mice and on humans.

Rachel Gioscia-Ryan says.”One of the hallmarks of primary aging is endothelial dysfunction.” In a new study she discovered that “MitoQ completely restored endothelial function in the old mice. They looked like young mice.” The research team used older mice, which would have had an equivalent human age of about 70 or 80 years old. They gave them water containing MitoQ and after four weeks their arteries were functioning just as well as mice with an equivalent human age of about 25 years old!The results of the research were published in the Journal of Physiology.

Mice In A Medical School Laboratory

A MitoQ representative explains: “MitoQ is a Mitochondrial Targeted Antioxidant that delivers antioxidant CoQ directly to your mitochondria, supporting their natural function and restoring their health. This means they can get on with their job, eliminating free radicals, preventing oxidation, and keep your organs healthy.”

The implications of this research are are wide-ranging. The early human trials conducted included year-long periods of treatment for patients with hepatitis C. The aim of the test was to show that MitoQ supplements taken orally could reduce liver inflammation and after one year’s treatment it was shown to be a success.

Even more promising were clinical tests carried out using MitoQ at the Oregon Health and Science University. The tests were performed to study the effects of MitoQ on the effects of Multiple Sclerosis. After only two weeks of treatment there was a noticeable surge in neural activity and a reversal in symptoms. This could open a new front in the fight against MS.

As a regular supplement, MitoQ would lead to living healthier lives. Its commercial use might also extend to targeted areas of the body that show signs of aging more easily – such as skin. Skincare products have already been designed using MitoQ to combat early signs of aging.

There is no single secret ingredient in life to prevent all aches, pains, and illnesses, but there are a range of measures that can give the very best chance of staying healthy and happy.

Worlds-Oldest-Person-Alive-Lumbreras-turns-127
Worlds-Oldest-Person-Alive-Lumbreras-turns-127

Keeping fit, eating properly, and sleeping well are good places to start. However, supplements like fish oils, ginseng – and now MitoQ – would stack the odds in our favor of achieving the best possible health for the longest possible time.