How Can You Slow Down the Aging Process?

By  //  August 15, 2022

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“The powerhouse of the cell.” If you’ve taken a basic biology class, whether it be in 7th grade or college or beyond, you may know that the “powerhouse” in question is the mitochondria, which provides the cells in your body with the energy to carry out their designated functions.

But in 7th grade, they don’t really tell you how mitochondria and the process to energize the cell relates to aging. But of course, in 7th grade, they don’t really tell you much about aging at all.

The connection between “the powerhouse of the cell” and aging isn’t exactly intuitive, but it’s important to understand so you can slow down the aging process.

Of course, there are actions you can take throughout your life to keep yourself healthy and delay aging as much as possible, but if we’re talking about mitochondria, then we’re going to focus on antioxidants – specifically, CoQ10.

Whether you’re familiar with CoQ10 and wondering “how much CoQ10 should I take?” or you’ve never heard of such an antioxidant and you’re wondering what CoQ10 even is, you’ve come to the right place to find out how this seemingly random combination of letters and numbers can help to keep you looking as young as possible.

Mitochondria and Free Radicals: the Basics

To begin, we’re going to explain how mitochondria relates to aging. Mitochondria are organelles that live in the cells in our bodies. Through a process called aerobic respiration, mitochondria take the energy we get from food and turn it into a form that our cells can use to carry out their basic functions. 

Energy production, however, is not without its faults. Just like with any production process, there’s a byproduct. In this case, that byproduct is called “free radicals,” which are characterized by a missing electron in their electron shell.

To avoid a full-blown science course here, we’ll just say that free radicals’ electron shells need a specific amount of electrons, and since they’re missing one, their molecular structure is unstable. To cope, free radicals try to steal an electron from another molecule. If they succeed, the structure of that molecule may be damaged, and this could affect fats, proteins, DNA, and more. 

How Do Free Radicals & Mitochondria Affect Aging?

You’re probably thinking “thanks for the science lesson but how does this relate to my rapidly-wrinkling skin?” Don’t worry, we’re getting there. When free radicals succeed in stealing an electron, they can cause serious cellular damage all over the body, depending on where they steal from. For example, a common victim of free radicals is collagen molecules.

Collagen molecules are a critical component of healthy, youthful skin. If collagen molecules are damaged by free radicals, the skin could develop brown spots, wrinkles, discoloration, or other visible effects. If you’re thinking “those are signs of aging skin,” you’re right. It’s all about the mitochondria, the free radicals they produce, and just how much damage those free radicals can do. 

Damage to cells from free radicals can also lead to fatigue, weight gain, diminished physical capabilities, and other increased effects of aging. 

Combating Free Radicals With CoQ10

Finally, the information you’ve been waiting for: how can you slow down this process? The answer is CoQ10, a defensive antioxidant produced by mitochondria to stave off free radicals. When we’re young, our mitochondria produce CoQ10 and free radicals at an equal rate; this is why our skin naturally lacks those classic signs of aging even if we’re not taking any supplements to help out.

CoQ10 is able to neutralize free radicals, giving them the electron they’re seeking so they don’t have to steal from other molecules.

But as we age, the mitochondria’s production of CoQ10 slows, while the production of free radicals as a waste product doesn’t. The result? More free radicals succeed in stealing an electron, damaging cells, and causing the noticeable signs of aging. 

Thankfully, scientists are on top of this already and have created a supplement version of CoQ10 for us to take once our mitochondria slows down production on their own. But of course, creating a CoQ10 supplement wasn’t as simple as it sounds (if it sounds simple at all). Scientists had to create a new formula, and their creation changed how much of the supplement you need to take. 

How Much CoQ10 Should I Take?

Our cells are pretty good at protecting themselves using their membranes, and the mitochondria, as such a critical part of the cell, might be even better. The mitochondria has a double membrane that’s nearly impenetrable unless the intruder has the correct properties.

This made it hard to get a CoQ10 supplement into the cell, as the mitochondria wanted to protect itself and CoQ10 is a large molecule to try to force inside. Through years of research, scientists discovered that they could use the negative charge of a mitochondria against itself by pairing the intruder, in this case a welcome guest, with a positive charge.

This new formula of CoQ10 has a smaller size and a positive charge, and it’s called MitoQ. So to take a CoQ10 supplement that your mitochondria will accept, you take MitoQ.

MitoQ not only makes it into the mitochondria, but it’s also absorbed up to 1,000 times better than just CoQ10. So if you’ve made it this far just to find out how much CoQ10 you should take, you’re finally getting somewhere. 

Because of its absorption rate, MitoQ supplements of just 10 mg a day will do the trick, compared to the 500 to 1,200 mg of CoQ10 you’d have to take for the same effect. 

Scientists, I’ll tell ya. They’re good. 


Hopefully this gives you a bit of background information on an important supplement for human health. Of course, exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep can contribute a lot to living a healthy life and staving off signs of aging.

But at a certain point, you’ll likely want to add a little CoQ10 into your routine as a supplement. And now, not only do you know what it is and why you need it, but you also know why you take MitoQ instead, and why you get to take a much lesser dose than you might expect.