Nutritional mediators of cellular & mitochondrial decline in older adults

Matteo Cesari, Bret Goodpaster

Aging is the primary factor behind the progressive loss of physiological integrity, onset of diseases, functional impairment, and increased vulnerability to negative health-related outcomes including death. Understanding biological aging age may help us to characterize the way in which clinical conditions develop. Several processes, common across organisms, have been proposed in the literature as responsible for aging, including genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, mitochondrial dysfunction, and stem cell exhaustion. The study of these processes serves to identify the most promising targets for future interventions aimed at slowing down aging and preventing its detrimental consequences. The processes contributing to Age Associated Cellular Decline will be discussed. Special attention will be given to those processes that are particularly related to skeletal muscle performance with age.

Quite a bit of data suggest that lifestyle habits influence whether an individual has normal or impaired cellular processes, and a healthy or an unhealthy pattern of aging. The recent evidence will be reviewed that supports the importance of mitochondrial function on healthy aging, the impact of mitochondrial dysfunction on unhealthy aging, and how lifestyle habits (physical activity and nutrition) may improve cellular energy metabolism.