The factors responsible for increasing length of life are not well understood. Identifying effective interventions to increase lifespan remains a challenge. Clues to unravel the mystery of longevity come from factors identified as contributors to the biology of the aging process such as elevated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
The elevated oxidative stress is toxic to cellular and organ health, and its damaging potential is further amplified by the deficiency of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which is the most abundant endogenous intracellular antioxidant and its levels tend to decline with age.
In a recently published study, researchers found that a supplement can improve signs of aging in mice, extending their life span. The results appear in the journal Nutrients.
The team used a mice model to evaluate their hypothesis on the effect of supplementing GlyNAC against placebo. GlyNAC is a mixture of an amino acid called glycine and the medication N-acetylcysteine (NAC), both being precursors for glutathione.
The levels of glutathione normally decrease during aging. Research has linked this deficit to increased oxidative stress, decreased mitochondrial function, inflammation, loss of muscle strength, metabolic defects, poor nutrient sensing, gene damage and cognitive decline.
The researchers found that administering the supplement GlyNAC to younger mice extended their life span by 24%.
The team concluded that supplementing GlyNAC increases length of life in mice, while also correcting the glutathione deficiency, oxidative stress, and multiple aging hallmarks, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, abnormalities in mitophagy and nutrient sensing, and genomic damage in vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
There is still limited information about human clinical trials. However, in pilot human trials, according to the researchers, the supplement has improved both strength and cognition.
Premranjan Kumar, et al. GlyNAC (Glycine and N-Acetylcysteine) Supplementation in Mice Increases Length of Life by Correcting Glutathione Deficiency, Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Abnormalities in Mitophagy and Nutrient Sensing, and Genomic Damage. Nutrients. 2022, 14 (5), 1114. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14051114
Robby Berman (2022, Mar 21). Supplement slows aging process in mice, and possibly humans. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: