Posted by neha gupta on May 26, 2010

The supplements, if taken much before old age rather than waiting until 65, can help enhance physical strength and slow aging, it claims.

The study performed on rats clearly implies that these supplements can be effectively used to slow down aging in humans.

"I think it is important for people to focus on good nutrition, but for those of advanced age who are running out of energy and not moving much, we're trying to find a supplement mixture that can help improve their quality of life," said Christian Leeuwenburgh, senior study author who heads the Biology of Ageing division at the University of Florida's (UF) Institute on Ageing.

Details of the study
For the study, anti-aging supplements aimed at reducing chronic fatigue and muscle deterioration were administered to 21-month-old (middle aged) and 29-month-old (late middle aged) rats for 6 weeks.

The ages of the rats were equivalent to 50- to 65-year-old and 65-to 80-year-old humans respectively.

The rats were then surveyed for the grip strength of their paws which corresponds to the physical strength in humans, with their deterioration revealing muscle weakness.

It also analyzed the two major mechanisms responsible for the aging process: dysfunction of the cells' energy producing powerhouses, known as mitochondria, and oxidative stress.

There was a 12 percent increase in the grip strength of the middle aged rats, while no improvement was witnessed in the older group, the study reveals.

"It is possible that there is a window during which these compounds will work, and if the intervention is given after that time it won't work," said study scientist Jinze Xu, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida's Institute on Aging.

Future research should focus on boosting the health of the mitochondria, the researchers say, since well-working mitochondria will produce fewer free radicals.

Also, clinical trials need to be performed to test the effectiveness of the supplements in humans.

These findings were published in PLoS ONE.

Supplements prevent oxidative damage
With age, individual cells get piled up with oxidative damage, obstructing the energy generation system inside the cells.

Almost all the anti-aging supplements are aimed at declining the ill effects of these free radicals, and organic molecules which result in aging, tissue damage and possibly some diseases.

Due to the unstable nature of the radicals, they attract other molecules and destroy their strength as well.

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