Mitochondria are amazing cellular structures that create energy from the food we eat and the air we breathe. By converting fats and sugars into cellular energy, the mitochondria generate the energy necessary to run every process the body needs to stay young and healthy.
In a healthy 5-year-old child, nearly 100% of the mitochondria (which many people refer to as power plants) are working well. But as we age, free radicals and other age-related forces destroy many of our mitochondria … and leave the ones that remain working at less than optimum efficiency.
As a matter of fact, it’s been estimated that 95% of the mitochondria in a typical 90-year-old person are damaged! Additional statistics show that people over age 70 had 50% more mitochondrial damage than middle-aged persons.
So what happens when the mitochondria become damaged and begin to malfunction? Well, first we become tired. Generalized fatigue is the top complaint of aging Americans. The reason for this is quite simple. If your cells lose mitochondria, there’s not enough energy to support all the things you want to do.
Then, if your body doesn't have enough energy to maintain and repair itself, you become more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, memory loss, and other health problems. Because we all want to live long, healthy lives, Life Extension® suggests a two-fold approach to maintaining healthy mitochondria.
First, we can get our existing mitochondria to work better with antioxidants. Antioxidants, which can be obtained from a healthy diet and supplements, have been shown to help protect or at least delay our mitochondria from degrading and becoming damaged. Although antioxidants can’t completely stop this process, a daily dose of these nutrients goes a long way in helping to reverse fatigue and fight against age-related diseases.
The antioxidants we suggest include:
- lipoic acid
- ubiquinol coenzyme Q10
Second, and this is the really exciting part … we can actually get our bodies to make new mitochondria.
Generating new mitochondria traditionally occurred only with strenuous exercise and extreme calorie restriction. However, PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), an essential nutrient discovered in the 1970s, now plays a critical role across a range of basic life functions. As an ultra-potent antioxidant, it provides extraordinary defense against mitochondrial decay. PQQ’s chemical structure enables it to withstand exposure to oxidation up to 5,000 times greater than vitamin C.
But the most exciting revelation on PQQ emerged early in 2010, when researchers discovered that it not only protects mitochondria from oxidative damage — it also stimulates growth of new mitochondria!
PQQ has been shown to be a potent growth factor in plants, bacteria, and higher organisms. Pre-clinical studies reveal that when deprived of dietary PQQ, animals exhibit stunted growth, compromised immunity, impaired reproductive capability, and most importantly, fewer mitochondria in their tissue.
When PQQ is introduced back into the diet, it reverses these effects, restoring systemic function while simultaneously increasing the number of mitochondria and their energy efficiency.
Taking between 10 and 20 mg per day of PQQ may help to generate new mitochondria and round out a nutritional strategy for supporting mitochondria — because the more mitochondria, the more youthful cellular energy you’ll produce and the better you’ll feel for many years to come.
These statements were not evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.