Have you hugged your mitochondria today?
- Multi Grain Cheerios w/ Skim Milk (250)
- Pinenuts (70)
- Chicken & Veggies on wild rice (550)
- Canned Beans in Tomato sauce (250)
- Monster Salad (200)
- Cottage Cheese (110)
- Small Quizno’s Chili (150)
- Granola Bar (144)
Ye Grande Total: 1724 Calories
A fascinating new study on genetically engineered mice has given a huge boost to the Mitochondrial Free Radical theories of cellular aging. The mice were engineered to produce a human enzyme that is a powerful antioxidant. Strains were created that expressed the extra enzyme in three different places (cell nucleus, cytoplasm, and inside the mitochondria). The breed that had extra protection in the mitochondria lived 20% longer, while the protection in the cytoplasm and cell nucleus had little improvement over normal mice.
This helps demonstrate why all the past hype about consuming lots of anti-oxidants like vitamin C, E, and all those other sources, has never really shown any promise in lab tests to have any effect on retarding the aging process. If a lot of the damage incurred during aging is happening deep inside the mitochondria, then it makes sense — ingesting antioxidants is not a very effective way to get them into your mitochondria. It’s questionable how well most of them even make it into the cytoplasm, let alone further into the mitochondria.
This is related closely to how caloric restriction is thought to work. With calorie restriction, the mitochondria become more efficient and burn less energy. Burning energy generates a lot of free radicals. Instead of mopping up free radicals after they are generated (using antioxidants), we just don’t make so many in the first place, stopping the damage at its source. It’s exciting to see research into this area gaining momentum.
Currently listening to Buy Me…I’ll Change Your Life by Snog