Every cell contains a herd of bacteria-like mitochondria. These are the power plants of the cells, responsible for packaging chemical energy store molecules. They replicate by division, but also fuse together and exchange component parts. For reasons that are far from fully understood, the mitochondria in old tissues are much changed and degraded in comparison to their counterparts in youthful tissue. Their shapes are different, the balance of fusion and fission altered, they generate too little in the way of energy store molecules and too much in the way of oxidative molecules. Some of this is a matter of damage to mitochondrial DNA, which produces its own additional serious set of downstream issues, but much of it seems more akin to a reaction to damage and altered signaling in cells and the surrounding tissue, rather than any inherent malfunction in the mitochondria themselves.
To the degree that this global mitochondrial malaise is a consequence of the accumulated damage and resultant changing character of signaling in aging, then it should end if the root causes of aging are addressed. When the chronic inflammation, altered cell signaling, and
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