Mitochondria are parts of the cell that generate energy, and are important for muscle movement. As we age, damaged mitochondria begin to build up in muscle cells, possibly contributing to age-related muscle weakening. Urolithin A, a chemical produced by the microbiome when you eat pomegranates and strawberries, might be able to slow down muscle weakening by making the cell replace damaged mitochondria with healthy ones.
To test the anti-aging potential of urothilin A as a dietary supplement, Amazentis gave 60 healthy elderly patients either a placebo or oral doses of urolithin A for four weeks. The treatment proved to have no side effects and decreased the levels of biomarkers in the blood that signal unhealthy mitochondria in the cell.
There are currently no treatments able to slow the weakening of our muscles as we age other than long-term exercise routines. As the population gets increasingly older, this dietary supplement could help the elderly to maintain an independent lifestyle for longer.
The process of removing damaged mitochondria, called mitophagy, takes place throughout life, but slows down as we age. Boosting mitophagy may also help to slow aging in other tissues in the body.
Amazentis makes a key discovery in longevity and muscle health
Age-associated muscle decline can start as early as 40 years old. The Phase 1 clinical study by EPFL spinoff Amazentis revealed that supplementation with Urolithin A had exercise-like effects on muscle strength after 4-months. This is the first time that the potent mitochondrial recycling mechanism, mitophagy, has been shown in humans.
Ageing is associated with a decline in mitochondrial function, leading to reduced exercise capacity, muscle endurance and strength. There are currently no effective interventions to counteract it other than exercise.
Amazentis ´s proprietary Urolithin A is the first and only compound that has been clinically shown to improve muscle function by renewing the mitochondria during the ageing process through a potent biological quality control mechanism called mitophagy. Muscles have a high demand for energy and there are a very large number of mitochondria in muscle cells. By activating this important biological pathway, Mitopure promotes healthy ageing and improved muscle health and performance.
Previous research showed that Mitopure improved muscle endurance, reduced inflammation, and resulted in healthier mitochondrial function in older adults 65 to 90 years old. A new double blind, placebo-controlled trial in middle-aged adults 40 to 64 years old (n=88) was conducted in London, Ontario, Canada, following Health Canada’s approval and an independent IRB. Participants were randomized to receive daily supplementation with either 500mg, 1,000mg Mitopure or placebo for four months.
The study assessed muscle strength, exercise performance tests and biomarkers of healthy mitochondrial function and inflammation in skeletal muscle biopsies and blood plasma at baseline – two months and four months. The study showed that daily intake of Amazentis’ proprietary Urolithin A, Mitopure, significantly improved muscle strength by 12% after four months. These findings further validate Mitopure’s benefits for muscle and mitochondrial health and show it is safe and well tolerated. This is an important discovery in longevity and muscle health research.
“This study further validates the role of mitochondrial health as an important pillar of vitality and shows Mitopure is a first in class nutrient that meaningfully impacts muscle health. We are proud to offer this proprietary form of Urolithin A in our Timeline® brand and inside Nestlé Health Science products,” said Chris Rinsch, CEO and Co-Founder of Amazentis. “We remain committed to pioneering clinically validated products that optimize cellular health with the mission of keeping millions of people healthier for longer”.
In addition, the startup also announced that Eric Verdin has joined the Amazentis scientific advisory board. Verdin is the president and chief executive officer of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and he has dedicated his career to studying longevity with the goal of transforming everyone into healthy centenarians.
Amazentis is an innovative, dynamic and growing clinical stage biotech company positioned in the consumer health and clinical nutrition sectors and is located in the multicultural region of Lausanne, Switzerland. Acting at the intersection of the food and pharma industries, Amazentis employs best-in-class science to discover and develop new products to manage specific health needs and support an active lifestyle.