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What is reactive oxidative species?  ROS

ROS are formed in cells during processes such as cellular respiration (in mitochondria), inflammation, and immune responses. They can also be generated in response to external factors, including exposure to ionizing radiation, ultraviolet (UV) light, pollutants, and certain chemicals.

Common sources of ROS production include:

  1. Mitochondrial respiration: During the process of energy production in mitochondria, small amounts of ROS are generated as electrons leak from the electron transport chain.
  2. Inflammation: Immune cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages, produce ROS as part of their defense mechanisms to eliminate pathogens.
  3. Environmental factors: Exposure to UV radiation, pollutants, heavy metals, and certain drugs or toxins can trigger ROS production in cells.
  4. Metabolism of xenobiotics: Some drugs, chemicals, and foreign substances are metabolized by the body’s enzymes, producing ROS as a byproduct.

ROS play a dual role in biological systems. In moderate concentrations, they have essential functions:

  1. Cellular signaling: ROS can act as signaling molecules, participating in various cellular processes like cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death).
  2. Defense against pathogens: ROS are used by immune cells to kill invading pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
  3. Redox regulation: ROS are involved in redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions that help regulate cellular functions by modifying proteins, which can have a wide range of effects on cell behavior.

However, excessive ROS production or inadequate antioxidant defense mechanisms can lead to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between ROS production and the body’s ability to neutralize them with antioxidants.

This can result in damage to lipids, proteins, and DNA in cells, contributing to various health problems and age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and more.

To mitigate the harmful effects of ROS, the body relies on antioxidants, which are molecules that can neutralize ROS and maintain the redox balance. Antioxidants can be obtained through the diet (e.g., vitamins C and E) or produced within the body (e.g., glutathione). A balanced diet rich in antioxidants and a healthy lifestyle can help minimize the negative impacts of ROS on health.

Oxidative stress can have a significant impact on mitochondria, as they are both a source and a target of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Here’s how oxidative stress affects mitochondria, where oxidative stress comes from, and some potential solutions:

Impact of Oxidative Stress on Mitochondria:

  1. Damage to Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): Mitochondria contain their own DNA (mtDNA), which is more susceptible to oxidative damage compared to nuclear DNA. ROS can cause mutations and deletions in mtDNA, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction.
  2. Impaired Electron Transport Chain (ETC): Oxidative stress can disrupt the electron transport chain (ETC) within mitochondria, which is responsible for generating the majority of cellular energy (ATP). This disruption can lead to reduced ATP production.
  3. Increased ROS Production: Oxidative stress within mitochondria can create a vicious cycle. When mitochondrial components are damaged, it can lead to increased ROS production as electrons leak from the ETC. This further exacerbates oxidative stress.
  4. Mitochondrial Membrane Damage: The membranes of mitochondria can be compromised by ROS, leading to increased permeability. This can disrupt the balance of ions and molecules within mitochondria.

Sources of Oxidative Stress:

  1. Mitochondrial Respiration: As mentioned earlier, mitochondria themselves are a source of ROS during normal cellular respiration. When oxidative phosphorylation is not tightly controlled, it can result in ROS production.
  2. Inflammation: Immune cells generate ROS during inflammatory responses to combat infections or injuries.
  3. Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental pollutants, ionizing radiation, UV light, and certain chemicals can trigger oxidative stress.
  4. Metabolism of Drugs and Toxins: Some drugs and xenobiotics are metabolized by enzymes that produce ROS as byproducts.
  5. Aging: Mitochondrial function naturally declines with age, leading to increased ROS production and susceptibility to oxidative stress.

Solutions to Mitigate Oxidative Stress:

  1. Antioxidants: Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help neutralize ROS and reduce oxidative stress. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as natural compounds like flavonoids and polyphenols, can be beneficial.
  2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help reduce oxidative stress.
  3. Supplements: In some cases, supplements like coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and glutathione can support mitochondrial function and combat oxidative stress. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking supplements.
  4. Mitochondrial Targeted Antioxidants: Some research suggests that antioxidants specifically targeted to mitochondria, such as MitoQ, may be more effective at reducing oxidative stress within these organelles.
  5. Mitochondrial Health Maintenance: Strategies that promote overall mitochondrial health, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and managing chronic diseases like diabetes, can help reduce the production of ROS within mitochondria.
  6. Medications: In certain medical conditions where oxidative stress plays a significant role, healthcare providers may prescribe medications that have antioxidant properties.

It’s important to note that while some ROS are necessary for cellular signaling and defense mechanisms, excessive oxidative stress can be harmful. A balanced approach to reducing oxidative stress, along with proper medical guidance when necessary, is essential for maintaining overall health and minimizing the detrimental effects on mitochondria and the body.

Antioxidants are molecules that help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). These molecules can be obtained from various sources, including plants, animals, and synthetic sources. While plant-based antioxidants are more commonly emphasized, animal-based antioxidants also play a role in maintaining health.

Here are some examples of animal-based antioxidants:

  1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is a compound found in the mitochondria of cells, and it plays a crucial role in the production of cellular energy (ATP). It also acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals within cells. CoQ10 is found in various animal-based foods, with the highest concentrations in organ meats (e.g., liver, heart), beef, and fatty fish like salmon.
  2. Carnosine: Carnosine is a dipeptide (a combination of two amino acids) that has antioxidant properties. It is found in high concentrations in meat, particularly beef, and it may help protect against oxidative stress and the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).
  3. Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid-like compound found in animal tissues, especially in seafood and meat. It has antioxidant properties and is believed to help protect cells from oxidative damage.
  4. Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral found in various animal-based foods, including seafood, poultry, and beef. It is an essential component of certain antioxidant enzymes in the body, such as glutathione peroxidase, which helps protect cells from oxidative damage.
  5. Zinc: Zinc is another essential mineral that plays a role in antioxidant defense mechanisms. It is found in animal-based foods like meat, poultry, and seafood.
  6. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Vitamin B12, primarily found in animal-derived foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, is important for overall health and can indirectly support antioxidant systems in the body.
  7. Cysteine: Cysteine is an amino acid that can be obtained from animal-based protein sources. It is a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione, which plays a critical role in cellular antioxidant defense.

While animal-based foods can provide these antioxidants, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of both plant-based and animal-based foods to ensure you receive a broad spectrum of antioxidants and other essential nutrients.

Additionally, it’s important to consume animal-based foods in moderation and consider dietary preferences and restrictions when making food choices.

How can we improve mitochondria biogenesis? How can we clean up dead mitochondria with mitophagy?

Improving mitochondrial biogenesis and promoting mitophagy (the selective removal of damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria) are essential processes for maintaining mitochondrial health and overall cellular function. Here are some strategies to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis and support mitophagy:

Improving Mitochondrial Biogenesis:

  1. Exercise: Regular physical activity, especially aerobic and high-intensity interval training, can stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis. Exercise increases the demand for energy production, leading to the creation of new mitochondria to meet this demand.
  2. Caloric Restriction: Some studies suggest that caloric restriction can enhance mitochondrial biogenesis by improving mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress.
  3. Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating may promote mitochondrial biogenesis by enhancing the body’s metabolic flexibility and improving energy utilization.
  4. Cold Exposure: Exposure to cold temperatures (cold therapy or cold showers) may stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis as a response to the increased energy demands of maintaining body temperature.
  5. Diet: Certain dietary components can support mitochondrial biogenesis. These include omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols (found in foods like green tea, berries, and dark chocolate), and ketogenic diets, which can enhance mitochondrial function and promote biogenesis.
  6. Supplements: Some supplements, such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), and PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone), are believed to support mitochondrial health and biogenesis. However, consult with a healthcare provider before using supplements.
  7. Mitochondrial-targeted Antioxidants: Antioxidants like MitoQ, which are designed to accumulate within mitochondria, can help protect and improve mitochondrial function.

Promoting Mitophagy:

  1. Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to induce mitophagy, helping to remove damaged mitochondria. It promotes turnover and quality control of these organelles.
  2. Fasting: Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting can stimulate mitophagy. During periods of fasting, the body may initiate mitophagy to break down and recycle damaged mitochondria.
  3. Pharmacological Agents: Some compounds, such as rapamycin and metformin, have been investigated for their potential to induce mitophagy. These are typically prescribed under medical supervision.
  4. AMP-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) Activation: AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that can activate pathways involved in mitophagy. Certain lifestyle choices like exercise and caloric restriction can activate AMPK.
  5. Parkin Activation: The protein Parkin plays a key role in mitophagy, and strategies to enhance Parkin activation are being explored as potential therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
  6. Nutrient Sensing: Mitophagy can be influenced by nutrient sensing pathways like mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). Inhibition of mTOR through strategies like caloric restriction can stimulate mitophagy.
  7. Autophagy-Enhancing Compounds: Compounds like resveratrol and spermidine have been studied for their potential to enhance autophagy, which includes mitophagy, by promoting the removal of damaged cellular components.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these strategies may vary among individuals and may depend on factors such as age, genetics, and overall health. Before making significant changes to your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen to improve mitochondrial health or promote mitophagy, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and health status.

Exercise can have various effects on cellular processes like autophagy, mitophagy, and mitochondrial biogenesis, depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the exercise. While different forms of exercise can influence these cellular processes, here’s a general guideline on the types of exercise that can be beneficial:

  1. Aerobic Exercise (Endurance Training): Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, swimming, cycling, and brisk walking, is known to promote mitochondrial biogenesis. Endurance training increases the demand for energy production, which leads to the creation of new mitochondria to meet this demand. It can also stimulate autophagy to remove damaged cellular components, including mitochondria.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest or low-intensity periods. HIIT has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis. It can also enhance autophagy.
  3. Resistance Training (Strength Training): Resistance training, such as weight lifting, can improve mitochondrial function and promote mitochondrial biogenesis, particularly in skeletal muscle. While it may not directly induce mitophagy, it can contribute to overall mitochondrial health.
  4. Intermittent Fasting with Exercise: Combining exercise with intermittent fasting (IF) or time-restricted eating may enhance the effects on autophagy and mitophagy. During periods of fasting, the body may initiate autophagy to break down and recycle damaged cellular components, including mitochondria.
  5. Cold Exposure: Exposure to cold temperatures, such as cold showers or cold baths, can stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis as a response to the increased energy demands of maintaining body temperature. Cold exposure may also influence autophagy, but research is ongoing in this area.
  6. AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) Activation: AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that can activate pathways involved in autophagy and mitophagy. Certain exercise strategies, like endurance training and caloric restriction, can activate AMPK.
  7. Nutrient Sensing: Exercise, especially when combined with caloric restriction or fasting, can influence nutrient sensing pathways like mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). Inhibition of mTOR can stimulate autophagy.
  8. Mitochondrial Exercise: Some research suggests that targeted exercise for specific muscle groups (e.g., legs) can lead to localized mitochondrial biogenesis in those areas.

It’s important to note that the specific effects of exercise on autophagy, mitophagy, and mitochondrial biogenesis can vary among individuals and depend on factors like exercise intensity, duration, frequency, and individual fitness levels. Also, the timing of exercise in relation to nutrient intake can influence these processes.

Additionally, while exercise can play a role in supporting these cellular processes, maintaining a well-balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle is equally important. Before starting a new exercise program or making significant changes to your routine, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a fitness expert, especially if you have underlying health conditions or specific fitness goals in mind.

What to know about AUTOPHAGY
  • Autophagy involves the recycling of old or damaged cells and plays a role in the aging process.

  • Among the benefits are regulation of skin aging, immune function, cardiovascular function, brain function, and promotion of general good health with age.

  • Additional studies are needed to identify the best ways to induce autophagy to maximize the health benefits.

  • Longevity researchers have been studying autophagy for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that this cellular process has become a more widely recognized term. This intricate mechanism involves recycling old and damaged cells, and its activation has exhibited the ability to prolong cell life, whereas its inhibition is connected to premature aging.[1]

    Autophagy is critical for the body’s basic functioning with age and has several benefits regarding health and longevity.

  • The bottom line -Autophagy has been found to play an important role in maintaining good health with age.

  • Activating this process may have numerous benefits for several systems, including the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

  • Additional studies are needed to better understand how autophagy relates to the other processes and the best ways to induce this process to fully tap into the anti-aging benefits.


How can TimeLine MitoPure help our Mitochondria function and why?

Mitopure®, the nutrient that can re‑energize cells

As we age, our cells age. Mitopure® is the first postbiotic nutrient shown to trigger a crucial recycling process within our cells called mitophagy, targeting age-related cellular decline*.

Mitochondria are the bedrock of good health

Healthy cells rely on healthy mitochondria. Their optimal function leads to incredible health benefits, and is particularly essential to heart, kidney, eye, brain, skin and muscle function. Our clinical science to date has focused on muscle health as muscle cells have a very large number of mitochondria and on skin health, as the largest organ in our body.

As we age, mitochondrial function declines

Our mitochondria are constantly renewed to produce energy and fulfill the vast energy demands of muscle, skin and other tissues. As we get older, mitochondrial renewal declines and dysfunctional mitochondria accumulate in the cells, resulting in significant issues.

Insufficient energy supply

Production of harmful molecules

Reduced cellular health

This decline starts earlier than you might think

Age-associated mitochondrial decline leads to a progressive decline in our metabolism, our overall energy levels, our resiliency, our skin health and our muscle function.

Dr Gabrielle Lyon
Where does MItopure come in to the picture here? MItopure is an evidence-based product. It has Urolithin A in it, which helps our mitochondria produce energy more efficiently by triggering our body’s natural cellular renewal process. Essentially, it replaces damaged mitochondria.
This is where Timeline Nutrition has really thought through and thoroughly researched their products. They have over a decade of peer-reviewed published science. For those of you who are following the muscle-centric lifestyle, then you want to improve your muscle function and health. One of the studies show that in adults over the age of 40, Timeline has been shown to increase muscle strength and endurance with no change in activity.


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