The mitochondria in our cells generate damaging oxidative byproducts as a result of their operation, and that is the first step in a long process that contributes to degenerative aging. Researchers have shown that localizing antioxidants to the mitochondria can reduce this damage and thus modestly slow aging and extend life in laboratory animals.
Most antioxidants do not find their way to mitochondria, however, and have no effect on long term health or aging. Thus there has been some interest in recent years in designing compounds that do localize to mitochondria. One research group works on the mitochondrially targeted antioxidant SkQ1 and related compounds, and these scientists continue to conduct a range of studies in laboratory animals:
Here we evaluated the effect of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 on markers of aging in the old OXYS rats, a unique animal model of accelerated senescence and age-related diseases, as well as normal Wistar rats. ... we compared effects of SkQ1 [on] age-dependent decline in blood levels of leukocytes, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Our results indicate that when started late in life, treatment with SkQ1 [not] only prevented age-associated hormonal alterations but partially reversed them. These results suggest that supplementation with low doses of SkQ1, even in chronologically and biologically aged subjects seem to be a promising strategy to maintain health and retard the aging process.