Study: Researchers Find the Nutritional Keys to Maintain Youthful Energy
In a recent study from McMaster University, a cocktail of nutrients was found to significantly slow the aging process.
Says David Rollo, McMaster’s Associate Professor of Biology,
"As we all eventually learn, aging diminishes our mind, fades our perception of the world and compromises our physical capacity… Declining physical activity -- think of grandparents versus toddlers -- is one of the most reliable expressions of aging and is also a good indicator of obesity and general mortality risk."
The issue of physical decline was at the core of the research done at McMaster, and the goal was to determine which nutrients would best support youthful energy. The study found that the real key to maintaining activity levels was the support of mitochondria organelles within each cell. Often referred to as “cellular furnaces”, the most important role of the mitochondria is to supply each cell with energy. Yet, mitochondria actually serve the cell in a variety of ways- cell signaling, cellular differentiation, and control for the cell cycle and growth.
Mitochondria play a very important part in our overall health. However, mitochondria also leak high energy electrons which cause oxidative stress. This leakage tends to increase with age and without proper nutrition.
Oxidative stress is a root cause of several health problems. Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, stroke, heart disease, and type II diabetes, many types of cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases are all associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is also the root cause of most human mortality and the decline associated with aging. To combat mitochondrial leakage and subsequent oxidative stress, researchers used a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and natural substances known for their use against the processes responsible for aging. The nutrients include:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Folic Acid
- Beta Carotene
- Acetylsalicylic Acid
- Ginger Root
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Green Tea Extract
- Cod Liver Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
In their research, a supplement formulated from these ingredients was administered to aging mice using soaked bagel bits to ensure the highest level of consistency in dosing. While the control group receiving no supplement developed common signs of aging – a large drop in mitochondrial activity and brain signaling chemicals, and a 50% drop in daily movement – those who had received the supplement retained their youthful locomotor activity into old age! A fountain of youth? Not exactly, but Mr. Rollo couldn’t be more pleased.
These results build on his team’s previous studies on longevity, prevention of cognitive decline, and protection from radiation through the use of nutritional supplements. Says Rollo,
“For ageing humans maintaining zestful living into later years may provide greater social and economic benefits than simply extending years of likely decrepitude…This study obtained a truly remarkable extension of physical function in old mice, far greater than the respectable extension of longevity that we previous documented. This holds great promise for extending the quality of life of "health span" of humans."
As we speak, Mr. Rollo continues to work on new and what he hopes will be even more effective supplements for aging adults.