An Update on Mitochondrially Targeted Antioxidants

You might recall that researchers have in recent years demonstrated that antioxidants targeted to the mitochondria in your cells can boost life span in mice by around 20-30% or so. Per the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging, it may be supposed that these antioxidants are slowing the rate at which mitochondria damage themselves; that damage is the first step in a chain of consequences that leads to age-related degeneration and the failure of cells and bodily systems.

It is important to note that the use of mitochondrially targeted antioxidants is the only application of antioxidants shown to have any effect on longevity in mammals. For the most part, antioxidants do nothing, or may even harm long-term prospects for healthy longevity by interfering in the signaling processes of hormesis.

Amongst the researchers working on mitochondrial targeting of antioxidants are Rabinovitch, who used gene-engineering to boost mitochondrial levels of a natural antioxidant, and Skulachev, who has engineered an ingested antioxidant compound called SKQ1 that is taken up by the mitochondria - unlike any other form of ingested antioxidant.

A fellow emailed me today to let me know that SKQ1 is moving ahead in animal studies, now using dogs rather than mice. This is a common intermediate step on the way to early human trials:

Please be advised that trials of the mitochondially targeted antioxidant, SKQ1, are now underway in the canine model in both Moscow State Veterinary School and the St George Animal Hospital in Sydney. Early results have proven positive in a number of age related conditions.

I look forward to seeing the resulting papers when they are published.


It is true that dogs are a popular model, at least in the pharma business (cardiovascular safety testing AFAIK) and apparently in Russia too.

However, I am quite sure that the intermediate step most "regular" biogerontologists would now take is to go into long lived mice, e.g. well-husbanded C57BL/6.

The practises of Russian researchers are puzzling and I have stopped looking forward to any of their research.

Posted by: Kismet at May 25th, 2010 4:53 AM

Any thoughts on acetyl-L-carnitine + alpha lipoic acid as a mitochondrially targeted antioxidant?

I think Bruce Ames was the guy's name. Juvenon or something close to that was the company he started maybe? Can't recall.

Posted by: Tim at May 25th, 2010 3:01 PM

This is great news. For now, until we get this, keep using resveratrol and cycloastragenol, COQ10, r-lipoic acide, Acetyl L- Carnotine,Acetyl L-Carnotine and N-Acetyl Cysteine. Pulse the resveratrol and cycloastragenol. I think TA-65 will be so upset that they arent going to corner the market. You can already get cycloastragenol from China for cheap anyway. BUT this is big news. Can we cut out all the other supplements and just take SkQ1. The prices of these other supplements is killing me and uh.... I want to live a LONG time. How can we get this now??? I am willing to take my chances because I know what happens if I don't!!!

Posted by: Stacey at September 24th, 2010 6:11 PM

Let us come together and fight this disease called all means.....or we will all pay the price....death...hasan

Posted by: hasan at September 15th, 2016 2:41 PM
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