The third theory of aging covered in my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise is Mitochondrial DNA Mutation. Research reported today relates to the relationship of mitochondrial dysfunction to Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Other new research indicates that taking two substances in the anti-aging firewalls that act on the mitochondria may prove to be a safe and effective strategy for preventing PD. The new research indicates that an inherited form of PD is caused by mutations in the PINK1 gene which is localized to mitochondria. The researchers found that insufficient expression of PINK1 leads to an aberrant calcium overload inside the mitochondria. The calcium overload in turn results in the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that interfere with the ability of the mitochondria to transport sugar needed for energy production. The result can be injury to and death of dopamine-producing neurons leading to Parkinson’s Disease.
Since excess mitochondrial ROS are involved, it seems plausible that antioxidants that act in the mitochondria might help prevent PD. We have known for a few years from the pioneering work of that a combination of alpha-lipoic acid and actyl l-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid act together powerfully in such a capacity. Many studies have confirmed the power of these two anti-aging firewall substances for brain health when taken together. “Dietary supplementation of young and aged animals increased the proliferation of intact mitochondria and reduced the density of mitochondria associated with vacuoles and lipofuscin. Feeding old rats ALCAR and LA significantly reduced the number of severely damaged mitochondria (P = 0.02) and increased the number of intact mitochondria (P < 0.001) in the hippocampus. These results suggest that feeding ALCAR with LA may ameliorate age-associated mitochondrial ultrastructural decay and are consistent with previous studies showing improved brain function. (ref)” A research report originated in a Chinese university looks more directly at how these two substances might prevent PD: Combined R-Î±–lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine exerts efficient preventative effects in a cellular model of Parkinson’s disease.