Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"A Look At Mitochondrial DNA Damage In Aging"

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, today posted a link to this post about a study, about how mitochondrial damage is implicated in many age-related diseases. The post concludes:
"Either way, those mitochondria still need fixing. The biotechnologies capable of that job are on the horizon..."
Or you can do it today, by eating a low-carb diet and training in a way that powers the mitochondria with their preferred food. Glucose causes the bulk of the oxidative and DNA damage that mitochondria suffer... Using fat and ketones as fuel allows mitochondria to repair and multiply.

Of course this isn't a solution that you can sell, so it gets no funding and no promotion. But it does have the virtue of being free...

I've given up on getting scientific progress on topics like this from the current crop of scientists and institutions... It's certainly not going to occur in my lifetime.
"Ketogenic diet slows down mitochondrial myopathy progression in mice"

"Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major cause of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases of adult age and of multisystem disorders of childhood. However, no effective treatment exists for these progressive disorders.

Cell culture studies suggested that ketogenic diet (KD), with low glucose and high fat content, could select against cells or mitochondria with mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), but proper patient trials are still lacking.

We studied here the transgenic Deletor mouse, a disease model for progressive late-onset mitochondrial myopathy, accumulating mtDNA deletions during aging and manifesting subtle progressive respiratory chain (RC) deficiency. We found that these mice have widespread lipidomic and metabolite changes, including abnormal plasma phospholipid and free amino acid levels and ketone body production. We treated these mice with pre-symptomatic long-term and post-symptomatic shorter term KD.

The effects of the diet for disease progression were followed by morphological, metabolomic and lipidomic tools. We show here that the diet decreased the amount of cytochrome c oxidase negative muscle fibers, a key feature in mitochondrial RC deficiencies, and prevented completely the formation of the mitochondrial ultrastructural abnormalities in the muscle. Furthermore, most of the metabolic and lipidomic changes were cured by the diet to wild-type levels. The diet did not, however, significantly affect the mtDNA quality or quantity, but rather induced mitochondrial biogenesis and restored liver lipid levels.

Our results show that mitochondrial myopathy induces widespread metabolic changes, and that KD can slow down progression of the disease in mice. These results suggest that KD may be useful for mitochondrial late-onset myopathies."
[Paragraph breaks and emphasis mine.]

Ketogenic diets have been used to treat varying human illnesses for decades... But the medical profession would rather sell you a pill.

"In the long-term study, Deletor and [Wild-Type] mice of 3–4 months of age were introduced an ad libitum KD (D05052004, Research Diets, Inc., New Brunswick, NJ, USA) or an ad libitum CD (Research Diets, Inc.). In the short-term post-symptomatic study, all the mice were introduced an ad libitum KD at the age of 12 months. KD consisted of fat 89.5 kcal%, carbohydrate 0.1 kcal% and protein 10.4 kcal% and CD of fat 11.5 kcal%, carbohydrate 78.1 kcal% and protein 10.4 kcal%. Both diets contained equal calories from soybean oil and the KD also contained primex fat, which is hydrogenated cottonseed oil and soybean oil and provides a high concentration of trans fatty acids."
If you get your fat calories from soybean oil and trans fats, like the wild-type mice did, you too will get fatty liver and gain weight. It's amazing that this particular implementation of the ketogenic diet made some of the mice better at all, given the toxic nature of the fats. Trans fats have been shown to damage the mitochondria and the liver in mice, after all.

If you're interested in a ketogenic diet fit for mice, or humans, look up Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint or Paul Jaminet's The Perfect Health Diet. DO NOT get your ketogenic diet from a doctor or a scientist, if you want to retain your health. (Paul's a scientist, but a real one...)