Ageing is a natural biological process. Mitochondria are essential for cellular bioenergetics and consequently play a role in age-related energetic decline. In this blog we will be exploring in what ways mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunctions are related to ageing and age related diseases.
Role of mitochondria in the human body
Mitochondria are involved in calcium signalling, redox balance, and thermogenesis, making them an important cellular component that determines a cell's fate. Mitochondria go through a number of processes to maintain their quantity and quality, including fission, fusion, and mitophagy, to destroy or replace damaged mitochondria. While this bioenergetics machinery
is adequately safeguarded, the functional loss associated with ageing and age-related metabolic disorders is mostly the result of such protective systems failing.
Mitochondria and age-related diseases: The connection!
Mitochondrial alterations with age are linked to a reduction in mitochondrial function. Due to the accumulation of mutations and oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial DNA volume, integrity, and functionality decline with age (ROS). Mitochondrial activity is impaired in older people, as evidenced by lower oxidative capacity, reduced oxidative phosphorylation, decreased ATP synthesis, a considerable increase in ROS formation, and reduced antioxidant defence. Mitochondrial biogenesis reduces with ageing
as mitochondrial dynamics change and mitophagy, an autophagy process that eliminates damaged mitochondria, is inhibited. Alterations in mitochondrial quality control that occur with age weaken and decrease mitochondrial function even further. Increased mitochondria-mediated apoptosis leads to an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells in aged tissues.
Furthermore, metabolic by-products such as reactive oxygen species contribute to thedamaging pathway.
Referring to research.
1. New research has shown that ageing leads to mitochondrial health decline by
encouraging abnormalities in key mitochondrial-regulated processes.
2. A growing body of evidence suggests that ageing and age-related diseases are linked to an energy supply and demand imbalance, which could be alleviated by a variety of interventions such as physical activity and calorie restriction, as well naturally occurring molecules that target conserved longevity pathways.
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