Research by scientists at Caltech and UCLA claim they have uncovered ways to slow and reverse the aging process by invigorating the mitochondrial “batteries” in living cells which facilitates repair of broken DNA.
Apart from the 25,000 genes (called the genome) located in the nucleus of all human cells there is a smaller library of genes in the hundreds of mitochondria inside living cells. Due to mutations by age 80 only about 4% of mitochondria are functional and producing cell energy. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA often go unrepaired.
The procedure described by these scientists is a “twist” on the biological process known as autophagy where cells digest dysfunctional mitochondria in a therapeutic cleansing process.
The experiment involved intentionally mutating 75% of mitochondrial DNA in fruit flies and then targeting a gene called PARKIN that reduced the mutant mitochondrial DNA from 75% to 5% when this gene was over-activated. A more youthful energetic state was restored to living cells. [Daily Mail Nov 21, 2016; Pasadena Now Nov 20, 2016; Nature Communications Nov 14, 2016]
But almost three years ago a team of researchers demonstrated a commercially available brand of resveratrol (Longevinex®) activated the PARKIN gene to renew mitochondria. Renewal of mitochondria was accomplished in the sequential activation of the following genes: Sirtuin1/Sirtuin3—Foxo3a— Pink1—PARKIN. [Oxidative Medicine Cell Longevity 2014] PARKIN activated the internally produced enzymatic antioxidant glutathione, which was the identified mechanism.