Earlier this month, a group of Russian and Swedish scientists published a paper reporting the results of a joint study by Lomonosov Moscow State University and Stockholm University. The major goal of the study was to investigate the role of mitochondria, the “cellular power plants”, in the process of aging. The scientists were trying to slow down the aging process in mice using the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant “SkQ1”. SkQ1 is very similar to MitoQ, being made up of an antioxidant bound to the same special positively charged molecule as MitoQ. This positive charge allows SkQ1 and MitoQ to target and accumulate inside mitochondria, where they can fight free radical damage.
What are Antioxidants?
MitoQ uses CoQ10 as its antioxidant, which is found naturally inside our own mitochondria. SkQ1 however, uses an antioxidant called “plastoquinone” which is sourced from plants. Plastoquinone is found inside “chloroplasts”, which are tiny organelles inside plant cells that allow plants to capture the energy in sunlight.
The SkQ1 study used a special strain of mice which were genetically-engineered to have defective mitochondria. This promotes early development of many age-related defects and a reduced lifespan, indicating that poor mitochondrial function is indeed closely linked to the aging process. Half of these mice were given SkQ1 in their drinking water and the other half were given plain water. Differences between the two groups became very obvious as time went on. The mice in the water-only group aged rapidly as expected. They were losing weight, their body temperature decreased, and hair loss and osteoporosis developed. Finally, their fertility, mobility and oxygen consumption were decreased. The development of these symptoms of aging were greatly reduced in the group that were treated with SkQ1, and some of the traits did not appear at all.
While these results are great news for mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, it is important to consider that the SkQ1 study was conducted in gentically engineered mice which do not exist outside the laboratory. Much more exciting are the highly-anticipated results of the US National Institute on Aging’s “Intervention Testing Program”. This prestigious study is looking for diets or compounds which can meaningfully extend the lifespan of healthy wild mice. The testing is overseen by a panel of world anti-aging experts and only accepts a tiny number of the world’s most promising candidates every year. Testing of MitoQ began in 2015 and the results will be published in several of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals over the next couple of years.
Success in the Intervention Testing Program will pave the way for exciting new human studies, and provide scientific validation for the thousands of people already living healthier and happier lives with MitoQ. MitoQ is the ONLY mitochondria-targeted antioxidant available to the public, meaning you can start to reap the benefits of improved cellular health today!
Reviewed by: Brendon Woodhead/ PhD., MSc., BSc.