Urolithin A research opens door to osteoarthritis relief

Supplementing with urolithin A can improves mitochondrial health and reduce joint cartilage damage, new study shows.

Scientists at Amazentis and Scripps Research have shown that as well as alleviating pain in osteoarthritis sufferers, urolithin A supplementation can improve mobility as it has a beneficial effect on the structural damage osteoarthritis causes.

Longevity.Technology: Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis and it occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of the bones wears down. The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, and is more common in women than in men – and there is currently no cure. Instead, those suffering with osteoarthritis manage the condition with exercise, weight loss, supportive devices, medications and, potentially, surgery if other options do not work.

Now new research indicates a back-to-basics approach could prove to be a winning strategy; improving mitochondrial health through urolithin A supplementation could help to reduce osteoarthritis damage and offer a welcome relief from joint pain.

Click here to learn more about the science behind Urolithin A.

The research team published pre-clinical results from a new study in Aging Cell, reporting on the joint health benefits of gut microbiome postbiotic urolithin A. They noted that for the first time a compound – Amazentis’ proprietary urolithin A supplement Mitopure – has been shown to improve mitochondrial health in an experimental model of osteoarthritis (OA) [1].

Results showed significantly improved mitochondrial health in human cartilage cells which had been taken from both healthy and osteoarthritic knee joints. Supplementing with Mitopure for eight weeks protected against osteoarthritis disease progression in the experimental model.

So, how does Mitopure work?

The answer lies in our mitochondria, living power generators in our cells that convert chemical energy into energy that our cells can actually use to grow and repair, as well as all those biological functions that happen as part of being alive. During this process, which is called cellular respiration, mitochondria turn glucose and oxygen into a high-energy molecule called ATP.

READ MORE: Winning strategy – Tour de France riders supplement with urolithin A

However, as we age, these power generators become less efficient. This decrease in cellular energy leads to a reduction in cellular function, and in the case of the cells in our skeletal muscles, it can eventually lead to the progressive decline in muscle function.

This decline in mitochondrial health is one of the causes of aging, and the change in mitochondrial function is associated with age-related problems in various tissues, including osteoarthritis. Our cells protect themselves from this decline by stimulating the selective recycling of old or damaged mitochondria into new, healthy ones – a process called mitophagy. This natural clean-up process also becomes less efficient with age, but urolithin A is a mitophagy activator, with its benefits on mitochondrial health seen in various scientific studies.

Mitopure – a proprietary form of urolithin A – works by supporting the cells’ ability to renew their mitochondria during the aging process; previous research has shown Mitopure can improve mitochondrial health and muscle function in both older and middle-aged human populations [2], and this new research extends its scope, extending these benefits to cells in key joints such as the knee.

“There are currently no effective solutions to treat osteoarthritis, a condition that is painful and limits the mobility of hundreds of millions of older people around the world,” said Martin Lotz MD, lead author on the paper and Professor of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research in California. “We tested Urolithin A in preclinical models of osteoarthritis and showed it has potential to both reduce inflammation and improve mitochondrial health, suggesting it may be a promising solution to support joint health and quality of life during aging [3].”

What did the study show?

In the research, Mitopure demonstrated two key beneficial effects on cartilage cells from both healthy donors and those suffering with osteoarthritis:

  • It significantly induced mitophagy – the recycling of aged and damaged mitochondria.
  • It significantly increased the activity of mitochondria leading to more energy being generated.

The second part of the study focused on the effect of supplementing with Mitopure for two months on a model that mimics the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

  • Mitopure decreased joint tissue degradation.
  • Mitopure supplementation reduced osteoarthritis-associated leg pain.
  • It exerted a mild anti-inflammatory effect in the model.
  • Better joint heath after Mitopure administration was associated with significantly enhanced mitochondrial health, including higher rates of mitophagy and increased regeneration of new, functional mitochondria.

“This study is important and exciting as it shows, for the first time, that Urolithin A can increase mitochondrial health in living joint tissue,” said Davide D’Amico, first author on the paper and R&D Group Leader with Amazentis. “It highlights the important role of mitophagy in maintaining healthy functioning joints throughout life [3].”

“It was great to collaborate with Scripps Research to expand the body of evidence on the health applications of Urolithin A into joint health,” said Chris Rinsch, CEO and co-founder of Amazentis. “It’s exciting to see a compound and mechanism of action that is benefiting both muscle and joints. We remain committed to delivering products that are clinically proven to have a meaningful impact on people’s health [3].”

Boost your cellular energy with Urolithin A. Click here to learn the science behind Mitopure.

[1] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acel.13662
[2] https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-medicine/fulltext/S2666-3791(22)00158-6
[3] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220707005266/en/

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.