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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine June 1995

Nutrients To Boost Mitochondrial Function

Our mitochondria explode with free radical activity that causes mutations in our mtDNA leading to progressively diminished energy production as we grow older, what can we do about it? If we slow the decline in function in our mitochondria, will we improve the quality of our lives? Will we live longer?

One approach is to take extra amounts of nutrients that are critical to mitochondrial function. The first of these nutrients is carnitine, which plays an important role in energy metabolism. Carnitine combines with enzymes found in the mitochondrial membrane to transport fatty acids into the interior of the mitochondria, where they are oxidized to provide fuel for the generation of energy. In the absence of carnitine, fatty acids are not oxidized, but, instead, are transformed into dangerous triglycerides.

Coenzyme-Q10 - The Antioxidant Energy Nutrient

Coenzyme-Q10 (or ubiquinone) is an antioxidant that penetrates the mitochondria to become a fundamental constituent of the electron transport system of the respiratory chain and plays an essential role in oxidative phosphorylation--the process by which ATP (the energy chemical) is produced. Coenzyme-Q10 which has extended both mean and maximum lifespan in laboratory mice--is thus critically involved in the process of energy production within the mitochondria, and in neutralizing dangerous free radicals produced during this process.

Recent studies have shown that Coenzyme-Q10 interrupts the chemical chain reaction that transforms essential fatty acids into lipid peroxide radicals, which protects lipid membranes and other sensitive cellular components against free radical damage. Coenzyme-Q10 has also been shown to decrease the depletion of nucleotides and calcium, which suggests that it may be able to protect us against the age related mutations in mtDNA that afflict us with advancing age.

These findings indicate that high doses of Coenzyme-Q10 may be able to protect us against the high free radical activity found in mitochondria, while simultaneously serving as high-octane fuel for the energy generating power plants of the cells. Life Extension now offers Coenzyme-Q10 in 100-mg capsules for those who wish to take high doses of this remarkable life enhancing and life-extending nutrient. It is important to note that new studies show that Coeznyme-Q10 requires fat for optimal assimilation into the bloodstream. You should always take Co-Q10 with your heaviest meal of the day, or take Co-Q10 with essential fatty acids such as GLA, EPA/DHA, and/or flax seed oil.

NADH-The High Energy Compound

NADH (the reduced form of nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide) is the first and most energetic element in the chain of chemical reactions (oxidative phosphorylation) that produces energy within mitochondria. The more energy a cell needs, the more NADH it needs. For example, muscle and brain cells contain about 50 micrograms of NADH per gram of tissue, heart cells contain 90 micrograms of NADH per gram of tissue, but red blood cells, which have much lower energy needs, contain only 4 micrograms of NADH per gram.

NADH also stimulates the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline, which suggests that it may be useful as a treatment forParkinson's disease and other central nervous system diseases, perhaps in conjunction with deprenyl.

Dr. Georg Birkmayer was the first researcher to use NADH clinically at the University of Graz in Vienna, Austria in the 1980s. Dr. Birkmayer has been using NADH to treat patients with depression, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Thus far, he has used NADH to treat more than 2,000 patients without observing any adverse side effects!

How To Obtain These Energy Enhancing Nutrients

You can obtain all three energy-enhancing nutrients (Carnitine, Coenzyme-Q10, and NADH) through the Life Extension Foundation, with substantial discounts for members of The Foundation.

Coenzyme-Q10 is available from Life Extension in 10-mg, 30-mg, and 100-mg capsules. Life extensionists take a wide variety of doses of this remarkable, non-toxic nutrient. These range from 10 mg a day to several hundred milligrams a day. For more INFOrmation on Coenzyme-Q10, or to order Coenzyme-Q10 follow this link. Coenzyme-Q10.