Recommendation #5: Generate New Mitochondria, Protect Proteins Against Glycation, Suppress Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines And Optimize Mitochondrial Function
Mitochondria are the cellular energy generators that supply virtually all the power your body requires for a healthy life span. An abundance of published studies underscores the critical importance of the mitochondria to overall health, especially as we age.1-7 Energy-intensive organs like the heart and brain are dense with mitochondria.
Until recently, the only natural ways for aging individuals to increase the number of mitochondria in their bodies were long-term calorie restriction or exhaustive physical activity. Now an essential nutrient called PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) offers a viable alternative.
Researchers have discovered that PQQ supports mitochondrial biogenesis — the spontaneous growth of new mitochondria in aging cells!8 So Life Extension's Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer now contains 10 mg of BioPQQ™ to support both the formation and function of mitochondria.
In addition to the need for new mitochondria, aging mitochondria need serious support. The enormous amount of energy generated within mitochondria exposes them to constant free radical attack, resulting in mitochondrial decay. PQQ has been shown to protect and augment delicate mitochondrial structures to promote youthful cellular function in three distinct ways. It supplies maximum antioxidant and bioenergetic support,9 beneficially interacts with genes directly involved in mitochondrial health, and supports mitochondrial defense to protect mitochondrial DNA.
Aging causes irreversible damage to the body's proteins via a toxic process called glycation … the cross-linking of proteins or lipids and sugars to form non-functioning structures called AGEs (advanced glycation end-products).10-15 The process of glycation can be superficially seen as unsightly creased skin. Glycation is also an underlying cause of age-related events involved in the neurologic, vascular, renal and ocular areas.16-26
Carnosine is a multifunctional dipeptide that interferes with the glycation process.27-33 Carnosine has been shown to inhibit glycation early in the process, thus helping protect against further damage.34
Carnosine levels are reduced with age. Levels found in muscle tissue decline 63% from age 10 to age 70, which may account for the normal age-related decline in muscle mass and function.28 Since carnosine acts as a pH buffer, it can keep on protecting muscle cell membranes from oxidation under the acidic conditions of muscular exertion. Carnosine enables the heart muscle to contract more efficiently through enhancement of calcium response in heart myocytes.35 Long-lived cells such as nerve cells (neurons) and muscle cells (myocytes) contain high levels of carnosine. Higher muscle levels of carnosine correlate with the increased life spans of animals.
Carnosine is one of the few compounds that increases the life span of human cells in vitro. Human fibroblasts divide 40 to 45 times before they become senescent. The presence of carnosine allows the cells to divide 8 to 10 times more before they stop dividing, increasing cell life span 20% or more.36-38