Scientists at Harvard University have found that control of the activity of the mitochondria through diet or genetic manipulation increases lifespan and promotes healthy aging. Article with results of a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. About it reported in a press release on EurekAlert!.
Mitochondria are organelles in the cells of living organisms. There takes place a reduction of oxygen and ATP is formed — energy-consuming molecule required for cell metabolism. “Raw material” for the mitochondria use the pyruvate formed in the glycolysis of carbohydrates that enter the body with food. They also produce oxygen radicals that damage cell and contribute to its aging.
Mitochondria form a network that changes in response to energy needs of cells. With the age of the organism they function worse.
The results of experiments on the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans showed that reducing the number of calories consumed maintained function of mitochondrial networks. The same effect was achieved by genetic manipulation of the protein AMP-activated protein kinase, when the energy-producing organelles began to “starve”, and the lifespan of the worms increased.