THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF MITOCHONDRIA IN CELLULAR HEALTH
The science on aging has uncovered the critical role mitochondria play in cellular health and has identified this "powerhouse" of the cell as a central factor influencing the aging process.¹ A single cell can have hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria, which act to convert nutrients from our diet into energy, supporting cellular bioenergetics in our muscles and other organs throughout the body.² Efficient functioning of our mitochondria is important for muscle strength and stamina as we age.³
WHAT ARE MITOCHONDRIA AND WHERE DO THEY WORK?
Mitochondria produce more than 90% of the cellular energy needed each day. In addition to their role in bioenergetics, mitochondria are also important for cellular signaling¹ (how cells communicate) and adapting to cellular stress.
Mitochondria are found in greater numbers in tissues with high energy demand, such as muscle, heart, and brain.⁵ That's why these organs can be most affected by declines in mitochondrial efficiency as we age.⁵ Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered an important factor in age-related declines in muscle strength and physical function.³
WHY DOES MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION DECLINE WITH AGE?
Many factors can contribute to declines in mitochondrial health, including poor dietary choices, sedentary lifestyle, and environmental stress. These can cause our mitochondria to become damaged and less efficient. Our cells have certain quality control systems in place to deal with underperforming mitochondria, but these systems become less effective as we age.¹
One such quality control system is a process called mitophagy, which works to selectively remove dysfunctional mitochondria so they can be replaced by new ones. Declines in this process during aging can allow for accumulation of poorly functioning mitochondria within cells.¹
WHAT IS ORIGIN OF UROLITHIN A?
Urolithin A (UA) is a novel cellular nutrient that is clinically shown to activate mitophagy and renew mitochondrial function in muscle cells of older adults. Efficient mitochondrial function is important for muscle strength and stamina.
When synthesized from our diet, UA is a metabolite formed by gut bacteria when we eat foods containing ellagitannins - a type of polyphenol, or beneficial plant compound, found in foods like pomegranates, nuts, and berries. However, even eating these foods, only about 1 in 3 people have the gut bacteria needed to efficiently transform ellagitannins into UA.⁶ Adding a UA supplement directly bypasses this step and has been to shown to effectively increase UA levels.⁶⁻⁸
WHY IS UROLITHIN A IMPORTANT AS WE AGE?
As we grow older the quality control process called mitophagy slows and can lead to the accumulation of poorly functioning mitochondria, which can impact muscle function.⁷ Clinical studies show that Urolithin A increases in the blood shortly after consumption of Mitopure™ UA, activating mitophagy and improving markers of mitochondrial function within muscle cells after 4 weeks of daily use.⁶⁻⁸
- 1. Sun N et al. Mol Cell. 2016;61(5):654-666.
- 2. Chistiakov DA et al. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:238463.
- 3. Coen PM et al. Front Physiol 2019;9:1883.
- 4. Edeas M and Weissig V. Mitochondrion 2013;13(5):389-390.
- 5. Boengler K et al. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2017;8(3):349-369.
- 6. Andreux PA et al. Nature Metab. 2019;1:595-603.
- 7. Ferri E et al. Int J Molec Sci. 2020;21:5236.
- 8. Singh A et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2021 June 11. doi: 10.1038/s41430-021-00950-1.