Acetyl-Glutathione - Mitochondrial Anti-Aging Antioxidant
March 5, 2021
What are mitochondria?
Mitochondria are the tiny organelles in almost all our cells, and they’re responsible for generating the energy our cells need to function. If our cells don’t get the energy they need, then they can’t do all the jobs they are tasked with. Over the last decade, scientists have begun to recognize the link between mitochondrial function (or decline of function) and our health and certain diseases. It is becoming more apparent that our overall health and how fast we age are closely related to how well our mitochondria are functioning.
What happens to mitochondria as we age?
When we are young and healthy our mitochondria are working at 100%, delivering all the energy our cells need. As we get older our mitochondria naturally start to decline in function. They are thought to decline at around 10% per decade from our thirties and beyond. Our organs age. We start to look older as our skin cells no longer have the energy to produce as much collagen and elastin. Our brain and circulatory system will lose energy as well. The cells lack of energy means some other important but non-urgent jobs don’t get done-like processing and removing waste, or repairing cellular components. Over time we experience a slow breakdown of our cellular machinery. What we are experiencing is the aging process.
Why do mitochondria decline with age?
Mitochondria are responsible for 90-95% of the free radicals in our cells. Free radicals are byproducts from the energy generation process. Mitochondria are at the core of the energy process and are exposed to 10 times more free radicals than the rest of the cell. For this reason, they are literally stacked with antioxidants to protect themselves. As we get older the levels of antioxidants inside our mitochondria declines. With less antioxidant protection, free radicals start to damage the mitochondrial membranes and-because the energy generation process happens in the membranes-this effects how much energy the mitochondria can produce.
What happens when things go wrong with Mitochondria?
Mitochondrial dysfunction is now known to be associated with over 200 diseases or conditions.
There are three types of mitochondrial dysfunction.
1.) Age-related mitochondrial dysfunction. The gradual decline of function as we age that happens to us all.
2.) Primary mitochondrial dysfunction. This is where your mitochondria stop working optimally by themselves and stop delivering energy as they used to.
3.) Secondary mitochondrial dysfunction. This is when you have a disease or condition that puts stress on the mitochondria and negatively affects how they work.
Primary and secondary mitochondrial dysfunction can happen to anyone at any time, and- depending on how severe the dysfunction-can cause a life-threatening medical emergency. If you have a health condition it is fairly easy to find out if it is related to mitochondrial dysfunction. Simply Google ‘mitochondrial dysfunction and ‘xxx’ (your disease or condition).
Improving mitochondrial function to improve health span and lifespan
If you can improve your mitochondrial function then you can help slow the aging process by improving the energy available to your cells. This allows your cells to act younger for longer, slows free radical leakage into your cells, and reduces the daily wear and tear that is damaging your cell contents and DNA.
When your mitochondria are functioning optimally, your cells get enough energy and will start to act young again, and in many cases-because cells are self-repairing-you will see a reversal in the effects of aging on the cell.
You will notice an improvement in overall energy and well-being as your whole body start to feel and react to the increase in available energy.
Improving mitochondrial function is something that anyone can do at any time of their life with two or three simple steps.
How to support your mitochondria
All the things that you associate with being good for your health-a good diet, exercise and having a healthy environment-are very important for your mitochondria as well. When your diet is unbalanced by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates it overloads your mitochondria and puts them under stress. When you exercise, your mitochondria thrive. When we are inactive, they decrease in number and don't function optimally. Even if you look after your mitochondria through a healthy diet and exercise, they still decline naturally. This is why taking a supplement, like Acetyl-Glutathione, that supports mitochondrial function is a very good strategy to help you stay younger for longer. This supplement, in combination with a good diet and exercise regime, will put you in the very best position for optimal health and longevity.
A word on Free Radicals
For a long time, it was thought that free radicals were the enemy and it was recommended we take antioxidant supplements to counter them. We now know that free radicals are not all bad. In fact, a certain level of free radicals is good for us. We use them to send important messages within our cells and to neighboring cells. Our immune cells also use free radicals as part of their defense mechanism against infection. The immune system uses free radicals to destroy viruses, bacteria and cancer cells, and we do not want to interfere with that immune response or function. Free radicals become a problem when they get out of balance and we shift into a state called “Oxidative Stress”. Too much oxidative stress at the cellular level can lead to cell damage and disease.
A word on antioxidants
Free radicals are important for cell messaging the immune system (amongst other things) you don’t want to be taking mega doses of broad-spectrum antioxidants that may interfere with these natural processes.
For this reason, it’s best to carefully choose which antioxidant to take and to not take too many. Some of the best antioxidants are ones that stimulate our natural antioxidant protection systems, because these systems have evolved to ignore the good free radicals and target the bad ones. Acetyl-Glutathione is a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant that ignores good free radicals while fighting bad free radicals, and plays an important and significant advancement in anti-aging.