This blog explains the process and importance of mitochondrial health and the various supplemental process to support cellular energy.
Throughout a typical day, everyone deals with their own individual routines and how to go about performing specific tasks during this time. Generally, most tasks we perform require mental energy, and some require a lot of physical energy. But regardless of the tasks, both will require a good amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the chemical energy all our cells use to sustain life and keep us healthy. Specifically, ATP is vital for the health and of certain organs such as the brain, muscles and other tissues that demand a lot of energy. One interesting fact about ATP is you use half your body weight worth of ATP every day, which a lot of it getting regenerated and some being made from scratch by our bodies.
ATP, indirectly, comes from the food we eat every day with cells converting caloric energy into ATP. Theoretically the more calories you eat, the more ATP you can make but you might rethink this after further study. A lower calorie diet rich in phytochemicals may help you create more cellular energy and ATP, which is a good thing for our bodies.
ATP is created by mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of the cells and essential organelles that generate this high-energy molecule. Glucose, fatty acids and certain amino acids that we consume are metabolized by the TCA cycle, or also known as the Krebs Cycle, in addition to other pathways. The end result is NADH, which carries an electron to the electron transport chain. Ultimately, this simulates ATP Synthase, the enzyme that makes ATP from ADP, a low-energy phosphate.
There are hundreds to thousands of these structures inside each cell, depending on the tissue. It’s even been suggested that about 10% of our body weight is mitochondria, but this is hard to measure1.
Loss of mitochondrial quality or quantity has been associated with several phenotypes, including loss of grey matter, fewer cardiomyocytes, slower detoxification, and smaller, weaker muscles. Aging tends to occur more rapidly in organs that are highly dependent on mitochondria, such as the brain, muscles, and heart. A common opinion in the medical literature is that a cell with more mitochondria, or better functioning ones, is typically a healthier one. It’s probably also a younger one, since as we age the quality and quantity of mitochondria decline as we grow older. This pattern is a feature of AACD, or Age-Associated Cellular Decline, which describes the constellation of cellular and bioenergetic hallmarks of normal human aging.
Why would you want to enhance the quality or quantity of mitochondria? There are 3 clinical areas why this makes a lot of sense:
- Muscle strength and stamina
- Cardiovascular health
- Neurocognitive health
As we get older, the mitochondria diminish in function, energy output and membrane output. Older or damaged mitochondria not only make less ATP, but contribute to cellular degeneration and apoptosis. Together these two factors contribute to the decline in cellular function as we age.
The process to building new mitochondria is called mitochondrial biogenesis, which is highly responsive to diet and lifestyle. Research shows you can build new mitochondria by restricting calories and eating a low energy diet. Reducing caloric intake by eating less can create more ATP for your cells.
Urolithin A (UA) is a unique molecule which is derived from ellagitannins found in pomegranates and certain berries and nuts. A study published in Nature Medicine (2016) reported that urolithin A stimulated mitophagy in preclinical models and improved muscle function and exercise capacity in rodent models while also increasing muscle strength in C. elegans, a preclinical paradigm of aging.2‡
In the first human clinical trial, four weeks of urolithin A supplementation in healthy, sedentary elderly subjects (at doses of 500 mg and 1000 mg per day), confirmed that UA is safe, orally bioavailable, and effective in increasing mitochondrial gene expression in skeletal muscle and improving mitochondrial biomarker profiles.3‡
Urolithin A is a first-in-class mitophagy modulator for cellular energy & muscle health.4 It works, at least in part, by promoting mitochondrial renewal, which is a key factor in cellular energy production, muscle health and healthy aging.‡
Renual, which contains urolithin A, coenzyme Q10 and trans-resveratrol, supports cellular energy and muscle health and is designed for middle-aged and older adults.‡
Pure Encapsulations offers other products to support mitochondrial health, including Mitochondria-ATP, which supports cellular energy and mitochondrial health with a newly updated formulation that includes NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotinamide) to support NAD+, a key cofactor in cellular energy production.‡
Learn more about these products by visiting our Energy and Fitness Health Category today!
We have a webinar based on this topic for you to listen, conducted by Dr. Kelly Heim, Ph.D.* You can watch here: https://blog.pureencapsulationspro.com/view-our-webinar-recording-the-renewable-energy-within-remodeling-mitochondrial-networks-through-diet-and-lifestyle-strategies/
- Nisoli E., Carruba MO. J Cell Sci. 2006.119(Pt 14) 2855-62.
- Ryu D, et al. Nat Med. 2016;22(8):879-888
- Andreux PA, et al. Nat Metab 1:595-603
- As of 11/2/2020 in the healthcare practitioner channel
*Dr. Kelly Heim is an employee of Atrium Innovations, Inc.