Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mitochondrial Super Food: R-ALA, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Biotin, Nicotinamide (B3), Riboflavin (B2), Pyridoxine (B6), Creatine, CoQ10, Resveratrol & Taurine Optimize Mitochondrial Function.

From China, the biggest (and cheapest) producer of raw materials for dietary supplements comes a study (Sun. 2011) on the effectiveness of a mitochondrial nutrient combination on performance and mitochondrial biogenesis in exhaustively exercised rats, which may well have consequences on the number of items on your next supplement shopping list.

For 4 weeks, Sun et al. supplemented exhaustively exercising rats with a combination of R-a-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, biotin, nicotinamide, riboflavin, pyridoxine, creatine, CoQ10, resveratrol and taurine (cf. table 1)
Table 1: Ingredients of the "mitochondrial nutrient supplement";dosage used in rat study (data adapted from Sun. 2011); and calculated human equivalent doses 

This nutrient combination had beneficial effects on standard markers of exercise induced oxidative stress and muscular breakdown. Specifically, it "significantly inhibited the increase in activities of alanine transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase". The supplementation protocol also had beneficial effects on antioxidant status reversing increases in malondialdehyde and inhibiting the decrease in glutathione S-transferase and total antioxidant capacity in plasma. It also suppressed the elevation of reactive oxygen species in the spleen and thus protected splenic lymphocytes from apoptosis [cell death].

These effects were accompanied / mediated by significant increases mitochondrial biogenesis, evidenced by increases in
[...] the protein expression of mitochondrial complexes I, II and III, mtDNA number and transcription factors involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and fusion in skeletal muscle.

Taken together these results underline that proper nutrition, not only on a macroscopic, but also on a microscopic level, is of paramount importance to exercise performance and metabolic health. Interestingly, the amount of the supplemental "mitochondrial nutrients" used in this study is not even exorbitantly high. In fact, the human equivalent doses (cf. table 1) would be easily attainable by a nutrient-rich diet and some cheap and readily available supplements.