A protocol for rejuvenating mitochondria



Background: The average cell contains some one thousand mitochondria, and each mitochondria contains several loops of mtDNA. These mitochondria are in a dynamic flux of fission and fusion, which serves to scramble the mtDNA and other mito components. This is important in maintaining a healthy population.


See: Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion and Nicotinamide-induced Mitophagy


Purpose: With aging, the cellular quality control mechanism begins to fail and defective mtDNA builds up. By manipulating fission and fusion, the population of defective mtDNA can be returned to more youthful levels.


Supplements for fission: These are NAD+ precursors, and appear to be effective in this sequence: niacin < nicotinamide < NR < (nicotinamide + ribose)


Supplement for fusion: C18:0 — stearic acid.


See: Regulation of mitochondrial morphology and function by Stearoylation of TfR1 — “We find that animal cells are poised to respond to both increases and decreases in C18:0 levels, with increased C18:0 dietary intake boosting mitochondrial fusion in vivo.”


Small mitochondria are less efficient and any problem with the mtDNA genes can be detected by the cell via the membrane potential, marking the mitochondrion for mitophagy. Thus pushing the balance of fission and fusion in the direction of fission can clean up the population of mitochondria, and can be also used for enhancing exercise. 


Large mitochondria are more efficient. With aging, however, giant mitochondria can appear that are resistant to fission and produce no ATP. These zombie mitochondria can infest a cell.

The protocols on the next two pages are intended to eliminate defective mtDNA and break up zombie mitochondria so they can be eliminated by cellular quality control.

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