SkQ1 extends lifespan through the immune system
According to reports on web forums such as Longecity, which are frequented by the better-informed life extensionists, in the longevity scene the first experiments with relatively high doses of SkQ1 have started. But what kind of stuff is SkQ1? To get a picture, we read a fascinating Russian publication from 2011.
SkQ1 is, just like MitoQ, a variant of the well-known co-enzyme Q10. The molecular structure of SkQ1 also resembles that of MitoQ. Like Q10 molecules, SkQ1 molecules penetrate into the membranes of the mitochondria, acting as a kind of lightning conductors. They capture free electrons, which are released during the conversion of nutrients into cellular energy. This preserves the mitochondria, and improves their effectivity.
SkQ1 is already on the market. SkQ1 is the active ingredient in prodocts like Mitovan and Visomitin. Visomitin is an eye drop formulation, that should help against dry eyes and eye inflammations.
Animal study 1
Resources like SkQ1 are brainchildren of Russian biochemist Vladimir Skulachev. In 2011 a team under his guidance published a set of animal studies in Aging in which they experimented with 4 groups of female outbred SHR mice.
Half of the mice lived in an almost sterile environment [low pathogens], the other half lived in an outdoor area [normal pathogens]. Half of both groups received SkQ1 daily via their drinking water. The animals received 3.1 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. Here you can read how you can calculate the human equivalent of that dose.
In the sterile environment, administration of SkQ1 had no spectacular effect on the life of the mice. In the environment where the mice were exposed to a normal amount of pathogens things were different.
"In preceding papers, [Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 May;1787(5):437-61.] it has been shown that female outbred SHR mice living in an old non-low pathogens vivarium in St. Petersburg were short-lived (median lifespan about 300 days)", write the researchers. "They died mainly due to various infections, the mortality being age-dependent."
"In these experiments, the median lifespan was doubled by very low doses of SkQ1 (5 nmol SkQ1/kg per day) which greatly decreased the infection-related mortality."
"SkQ1 also changed the main reason for death: in the presence of SkQ1, mammary carcinomas, rather than infections, were responsible for the majority of deaths."
Animal study 2
The researchers repeated their experiments with mole-voles [Ellobius talpinus], which they themselves had caught in Siberia. These test animals probably had fewer genetic defects than the female outbred SHR mice from above. They kept the animals in outdoor cages.
The dose of SkQ1 was indeed a factor 10 higher than the dose in the aforementioned mouse study.
"The age of the mole-voles was estimated post mortem (roots of the first mandibular molars were studied)", the researchers explain. "The median lifespan was significantly increased by SkQ1, the effect being stronger for males.
"A post mortem study revealed only one case where a tumor was identified in the dead mole-voles."
SkQ1 extends the life of animals that are kept under natural conditions. It seems that SkQ1 increases the resistance to life-threatening infectious diseases, and in this way - through the immune system - allows animals to live longer.
Aging (Albany NY). 2011 Nov;3(11):1110-9.
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