Nutritional components may promote healthy aging
Emerging research indicates that nutritional components that target specific mechanisms associated with age-associated cellular decline (AACD) hold promise for improving adult health and well-being.
“Cellular Nutrition and Its Influence on Age-Associated Cellular Decline”, the latest issue of The Gerontological Society of America’s what is hot newsletter, along with an infographic, provides an overview of current research regarding the evidence regarding the influence of nutritional components on health and aging.
“The decline in mitochondrial health is increasingly recognized as a common mediator of decline in function and the development of chronic diseases associated with aging,” noted faculty member Nathan K. LeBrasseur, PT, PhD, FGSA newsletter content developer who is Professor and Co-Chair of Research in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Mayo Clinic. “This report describes the contributions of mitochondria to cellular functions and homeostasis and reviews emerging evidence regarding how nutritional components may influence these functions.”
Mitochondria are commonly referred to as the powerhouses of cells and are responsible for cellular energy production. They also regulate cell metabolism, apoptosis (programmed cell death), signaling by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are highly reactive molecules derived from oxygen that are essential for many biochemical reactions; however, when present in excess, they can lead to molecular damage. Mitochondria also have their own DNA (mtDNA) which codes for 13 proteins which are components of the respiratory chain and can develop mutations as a result of oxidative stress.
Declines in mitochondrial function and metabolism are among the key components of AACD. Evidence suggests that the changes associated with AACD act as triggers for age-related diseases and conditions.
“Because abnormalities in mitochondrial function are associated with many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, drivers of mitochondrial dysfunction are promising targets for treating multiple age-related conditions,” said Roger A. Fielding, PhD, FGSA, a newsletter content development faculty member who is associate director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medical.
Adopting healthy eating habits and exercising has been shown to improve markers of age-related diseases and attenuate biological aging.
“Calorie restriction appears to improve markers of disease risk in humans, but its acceptability and feasibility, especially in the long term, remains a challenge,” LeBrasseur said. “Dietary supplementation with nutritional components that target specific mechanisms associated with AACD may be an alternative or complementary approach to lifestyle interventions targeting AACD.”
Additionally, identifying risk factors for AACD and intervening with cellular nutrients earlier in the aging process, before the onset of major mobility impairments and disease-related limitations, could help improve healthy aging.
Emerging research indicates that certain nutritional compounds may support healthy aging by influencing mitochondrial repair and preservation, quality control, and signaling. Examples of emerging compounds that have been shown to treat mitochondrial damage and clinical disease states include SS peptides, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), MitoQ, and glycine and NOT-acetylcysteine (GlyNAC). Compounds that can address mitochondrial quality control include sirtuins, mitochondrial division inhibitor (mdivi), urolithin A, and epicatechin. Finally, nutritional compounds that have been shown to address mitochondrial signaling include nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide. Dietary supplementation with these components may be an alternative approach to lifestyle interventions targeting AACD, although further research is needed before definitive recommendations can be made.
Support for this number what is hot was provided by Nestlé Health Science.