A supplement that may improve mitochondrial and muscle health

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 1, 2022

What’s the buzz with Urolithin A (UA)? UA is a compound produced by the body’smicrobiota or bacteria after consuming pomegranate or nuts, which has recently come into the longevity spotlight. As we age, mitochondria (which fuel cells) and muscle health, decline. Animal and organism studies have shown that UA supports heart, brain, metabolic, muscle and mitochondrial health – and even extends lifespan. A new clinical trial has suggested that supplementation with UA promotes muscle and mitochondrial health in humans as well.

Study Summary

This study assigned 66 participants (aged 65 and over) to receive either a placebo or 1,000 mg of UA daily for 4 months.

  • Those who supplemented with UA had improved markers of muscle function across 2 measures: hand and leg muscle endurance (where the muscle is able to remain active longer).
  • Those who supplemented with UA had no significant improvements for two other measures: the 6 minute walk and ATP production (a measure of energy, which increases with improved mitochondrial health).
  • Despite no improvements in ATP production, those who supplemented with UA had improved markers of mitochondrial health.

The Hearty Take

This study suggests that supplementation with UA may improve muscle endurance and mitochondrial health for older adults. At Hearty, we recommend naturally increasing your production of UA by consuming pomegranates, berries and nuts – and, if interested in supplementation, reach out to your physician! Don’t forget, zone 2 training is also a great way to stimulate more mitochondria and keep your current mitochondria healthy.

Zone 2 training is training at an intensity that is by definition below your aerobicthreshold (aka first threshold). This is often defined via blood lactate measures (below 2mmol/L). It corresponds to an easy pace where you could hold a conversation, comfortably and in full sentences.

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