From pioneers to exploders: MitoQ is driven by research

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MitoQ is a supplement that’s backed by a wealth of research – and they welcome the scrutiny.

Therapies and supplements often reference studies that evidence their straplines; it can be tricky to work out exactly what study evidences what and how relevant it really is (size of cohort, works brilliantly… in a mouse model, etc). MitoQ, on the other hand, have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to research papers that cover their product.

Longevity.Technology sponsored content: With over 500 independent research studies from leading institutions such as UCLA, Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, MitoQ’s website has plenty of reading available. In fact, MitoQ has so many, it could start its own paper round! The company also supplies MitoQ free of charge for research purposes. MitoQ take the view that there is far more research to be done than any one company can do, so by taking an open source approach with their ingredients and inviting research, they can really drive their product hard and see what it can do.

Mitochondria are key for providing the energy needed for growth, repair and rejuvenation. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, has two roles in the body: being a key part of the mitochondrial energy production system known as the electron transport chain and acting as an antioxidant, helping to scavenge the potentially harmful free radicals which are generated as a by-product of the ATP production process. CoQ10 levels decline with age but standard CoQ10 molecules are too large to cross the mitochondrial membrane effectively and assist in mitochondrial healthcare, so MitoQ is built around its proprietary ingredient mitoquinol, a much smaller and positively-charged version that can cross through the mitochondrial membrane and get to work where it is needed. In fact, MitoQ is up to a thousand times as effective at getting into mitochondria compared with regular/untargeted CoQ10 [1].

The science behind MitoQ is exciting and has led to a great deal of research looking at both MitoQ’s effects at a cellular and sub-cellular level and its effects on a range of organs and functions, including skin, immunology, cardiac and reproductive health. We’re going to showcase a few studies that we feel are particularly noteworthy.

The co-creator of MitoQ, Professor Mike Murphy, dives into the science behind mitochondrial health and the relationship with aging.

Cardiovascular benefits of MitoQ – University of Colorado clinical trial

A clinical trial conducted by investigators at the University of Colorado Boulder has shown that MitoQ decreases free radical production by mitochondria and significantly supports arterial function in older adults and, therefore, the health of the arteries. In the clinical trial it was validated that MitoQ greatly improved the ability of arteries to dilate (by 42%), significantly supports the health of the aorta and significantly fights oxidative stress.

In previous pre-clinical non-human work, the investigators had demonstrated that MitoQ improved age-related declines in the ability of arteries to dilate and helped to support arterial health. Building on these results, the research team investigated the effects of MitoQ on arterial function; the results of this landmark study showed that after six weeks of treatment in a group of men and women aged 60-79, MitoQ significantly improved the ability of arteries to dilate by 42%, supporting arterial health. Further echoing their initial study results, the team also found that MitoQ significantly supports arterial flexibility and significantly reduces oxidative stress [2].

Strikingly, the size of the improvement in arterial dilation after only six weeks was larger than that typically achieved from three months of caloric restriction-based weight loss, and almost as large as that seen from three months of regular aerobic exercise (approximately 30% and 50% respectively). As many middle-aged and older adults do not, or are unable to, meet recommended healthy lifestyle guidelines, MitoQ could represent a very promising complementary strategy for maintaining healthy flexible arteries. The study authors noted the results demonstrated that reducing oxidative stress is a novel and effective way to support vascular function and the university is now recruiting for a much larger-scale randomised, placebo controlled study looking at the same measures.

“In the broadest terms, our results provide initial support for the idea that MitoQ, and potentially other mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, may be an effective treatment for improving vascular function,” wrote the research team, which was headed up by Matthew Rossman, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Colorado’s department of integrative physiology [3].

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Growth in studies and papers on MitoQ’s potential for human health and longevity

MitoQ Prevents Damage To Mitochondrial DNA After Exercise

In a recent study, published by the Sport and Exercise Research Institute at Ulster University, lead author Dr Josh Williamson and his team investigated MitoQ’s potential benefits to mitigating damage caused by high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) to mitochondrial DNA in humans. HIIE exercise is a type of training which involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times. Cardio and strength training are combined to create a well-rounded workout which puts a large amount of stress on your muscles.

The production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species occurs during and after exercise, and studies have shown that this can increase mitochondrial DNA damage. The Sport and Exercise Research Institute study specifically looked at whether MitoQ could help to prevent this damage.

The researchers found that one dose of MitoQ did not have an effect on the participants; however, when participants took MitoQ for 21 days, the mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant reduced mitochondria damage in lymphocytes and muscle caused by high-intensity intermittent exercise. Neutralising nuclear and mitochondria DNA damage produced from exercise is important for ensuring that mitochondria remain healthy and running at optimal [4].

MitoQ supplementation improves leg-extension power

A University of Colorado study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology concluded that:

“Our data demonstrate that 6 weeks of supplementation with MitoQ in healthy late middle-aged and older adults improves leg-extension power, a critical determinant of mobility and physical function in this population. Moreover, our data suggest greater improvements in leg-extension power with MitoQ supplementation in individuals with lower baseline function. Collectively, these data indicate that MitoQ and other therapeutic strategies targeting mtROS may hold promise for improving motor function and reducing the risk of clinical disability with aging [5].”

With over 40 clinical trials currently underway globally, the likelihood is that MitoQ will continue to cement its position as an independent research-embracer, which sees a range of peer-reviewed studies as challenges that ensure rigour, rather than hurdles to be overcome. All the while discovering an increasing range of benefits that this pioneering cellular health technology has to offer the world.

Longevity.Technology readers can benefit from 20% off MitoQ – use code LT20 at checkout.

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[1] https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.47.120505.105110
[2] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10787
[3] https://www.mitoq.com/blog/heart-benefits-of-mitoq-found-in-university-of-colorado-clinical-trial
[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231720308788
[5] https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.lb852

Images courtesy of MitoQ
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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