Every action our body takes requires energy: our heartbeats, our muscle movements, our ability to chew, digest and absorb nutrients – all rely upon a constant and steady supply of energy. And energy is produced by our mitochondria, the tiny, bean-shaped power plants working hard inside each of our 37 trillion cells. Mitochondria combine the food we eat with the oxygen we breathe and turn this into the essential fuel our cells need to work – and, ultimately, survive.
For our bodies to perform properly, we need our mitochondria working like finely-tuned engines.
When we are young and healthy, our mitochondria work at maximum efficiency, giving our cells all the energy they need. We can run and jump, fall and get back up again. We bounce back quickly from injury and illness. Once we hit our thirties, mitochondria naturally start to decline in performance – around 10 per cent per decade. We don’t notice it immediately, but over time, we start to have less energy; we don’t recover as quickly from injury or illness; our organs age; and we start to look and feel older.
What causes mitochondria to slow down? The cellular energy generation process produces potentially damaging by-products called free radicals. In a way, free radicals are like polluting exhaust emissions generated by fuel-burning engines. Mitochondria are 10 times more exposed to free radicals than any other parts of cells, and as a result they start to suffer from wear and tear (see Figure 1).
A word about free radicals: they might be free, but they can be costly.
The good news is that mitochondria are clever: they stack themselves with a naturally produced antioxidant called CoQ10 and use it to line the mitochondrial walls with a defensive barrier that neutralises the corrosive free radicals and minimises any negative impacts on energy production.
However, as we age, the level of CoQ10 produced inside our mitochondria declines. This means that fewer free radicals are neutralised and the defensive barrier is less secure. Free radicals escape into the cells, looking for trouble, and the damage starts to accumulate. When the level of CoQ10 declines to a point where it cannot counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, our cells are placed in a state of oxidative stress and we start to feel the negative effects.
Reducing oxidative stress should be your #1 health goal.
Oxidative stress is a big deal. Not only is it thought to be a major cause of the aging process, but it can also cause some serious health issues downstream. In fact, oxidative stress is known to be a precursor to many serious health conditions. It has become increasingly evident that our overall health and wellbeing are closely related to how well our mitochondria are performing.
Minimising oxidative stress starts with looking after your mitochondria, helping them to keep performing at their best. It should could come as no surprise that all the components of a healthy lifestyle – a good diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep – all combine to create an environment in which your mitochondria can thrive.
But it’s important to note that even if you look after your mitochondria through a healthy lifestyle, they still slow down naturally with age. That is why, along with making healthy choices, taking a supplement that actively supports mitochondrial performance is a smart strategy to help you maintain energy levels, protect your cells and support your ongoing wellbeing and longevity.
MitoQ® is a world-first, mitochondria-targeted CoQ10 antioxidant, which is absorbed through the mitochondrial membrane directly into the body of the mitochondria, hundreds of times more effectively than regular CoQ10 supplements. The mitochondria use MitoQ® to reline the mitochondrial membrane, helping to maintain its structural integrity and strengthen the defensive barrier. This means that free radicals can be neutralised and their levels can be contained, meaning normal energy production continues unaffected and the risk of harm to our delicate cell equipment is reduced (see Figure 2).
MitoQ® is one of the most-studied mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants. To date, over $60m of independent research and over 350 peer-reviewed articles have been published, testing MitoQ® across a range of health-related applications. Research has shown that after oral administration, MitoQ® rapidly accumulates in mitochondria-rich tissue such as the heart, brain, skeletal muscle, liver and kidney, helping to guard against oxidative stress and maintain healthy function and performance.