Mitochondrial Damage is considered as an important step in science correlating to treating aging and common diseases.
Mitochondrial is technically responsible for the generation of chemical energy to cells. It is the source of energy for cells. These tiny organelles provide 90 percent of the energy required for the survival of the cell. Yet, the quantity of mitochondria varies in cells in respect to the required energy, and commonly ranged in the array of 200 to 2,000.
Mitochondria generates 4/5 of its energy using cellular aerobic (oxygen). This process is named oxidative phosphorylation, which produces the chemical energy abbreviated as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The Production of ATP requires five multi-subunit enzymes, and each enzyme needs a series of chemicals to work well.
Aging effect of Mitochondrial Damage
Scientists and Researchers think that the quality of mitochondrial DNA determines longevity. Healthy mitochondrial makes the cells immune and protected against reactive oxygen species (ROS). This free radical in ciruculation in the cell causes degenerative damage. ROS can even activate reactive nitrogen, which is considered to be a root to many aging diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, strokes, and multiple sclerosis. This mitochondrial damage is often referred to as mitochondrial toxicity.
Yet, Mitochondria, does also have their own distinct DNA. Their DNA when attacked by ROS is highly vulnerable to mutation, and such mutation can cause at least 40 types of diseases affecting:
1. The brain
2. Nerve cells
Yet, damage to mitochondrial DNA can also be a consequence of lack of micronutrients such as copper and zinc. Deficiency in consumption of Vitamin B6, B12, C, D, Folic Acid and niacin can also lead to mitochondrial damage.
Organisms such as cells have particular way of maintaining damaged mitochondrial and DNA, however, not without side effects. NADH is an enzyme that repairs damaged of DNA. The maintenance causes a reduction in ATP and NADH. The depletion of ATP, is considered to lead to cell apoptosis and necrosis.
Yet, Mitochondria does also ensure the reproduction cycle and life of cells by alerting whenever cell growth, differentiation or death must occur. The signal role of mitochondria helps to alert the cells whenever oxidation conditions prevail which can inhibit cell apoptosis and retard aging. The signal relationship present at cellular level is, based on research, one way to tackle aging.
Protection or Firewalls against Mitochondrial Damage
A healthy lifestyle goes beyond simply dietary measures to avoiding exposure to microwaves or x-radiations provoking free radicals (ROS) in the human body.
One should restrain from becoming an active and passive smoker. It is also necessary to stay protected from direct sunlight exposure by using sunglasses and proper clothes. The use of toxic chemical should be handled with due care, for example arsenic-containers should not be handled without gloves.
A dietary habit is another necessary approach to supply the body with sufficient sources of fresh energy. Consumption of fruits, vegetables some fish should be made a priority with a regulated intake of red meat, trans-fatty acids and omega-6-fatty. Food should be cooked at reasonable temperature to prevent brownness. Moreover, food in mercury containers such as tuna should be consumed, at a recommended rate of one per week. Foods that should be avoided are fast food, fried-food, food preserved in nitrites and hydrogenated oils. On the other hand, broccoli, sardines, blueberries, olive oil, green tea are advised to be consumed plenty. Dark chocolate with a density of cacao content is also recommended, while alcohol (Red Wine) can be drunk moderately to de-stress.
2. Supplements for the mitochondrial DNA mutation firewall
Mitochondrial damage can be prevented by some supplements such as alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl-l-carnitine which can avoid oxidation damage by entering the mitochondria. According to recent research, life span has been extended by around 30 percent for small animals by applying this theory. R-isomer of alpha lipoic acid assists to repair the mitochondrial DNA. Apparently, Acetyl-l-carnitine and R-alpha lipoic acid combined have various positive effects at cellular level, such as preventing Parkinson’s disease.
Major supplements that can be used to tackle oxidative damage also work well for mitochondria damage. For instance, resveratrol has been found to inhibit glucose-induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species development in cell of animals. People suffering from mitochondrial disease are recommended to consume coenzyme Q-10.
Telomere shortening and damage theory of aging does also represent a partial firewall for mitochondrial. Astragaloside IV extract activates telomerase. It is a fact that telomerase does sometimes not lengthen telomeres. Telomerase (catalytic subunit TERT) enters the mitochondria whenever a cell is under stress. TERT plays an important role in improving the functioning of mitochondrial and to further protect DNA. Findings have proved that TERT has an overall positive result without retrograding effect on cells.
For more understanding about Telomerase effect on Mitochondrial DNA; Read Mitochondrial Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Binds to and Protects Mitochondrial DNA and Function From Damage