Preventing and Removing the Accumulation of Lipofuscin: Potential Natural Therapies

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Lipofuscin is the name given to finely granular yellow-brown pigment granules composed of lipid-containing residues of lysosomal digestion.

It is commonly found in the:

  • liver
  • kidney
  • heart muscle
  • retina
  • adrenals
  • nerve cells
  • ganglion cells

The loss of mitochondrial function can cause the buildup of aging pigments known as lipofuscin.  Lipofuscin builds up when a cellular “garbage-disposal system” (i.e., autophagy) breaks down. Eventually, with the decrease in autophagy and related increase in lipofuscin, there is increased oxidative stress, decreased energy production, and ultimately, cell death.

Eventually, with the decrease in autophagy and related increase in lipofuscin, there is increased oxidative stress, decreased energy production, and ultimately, cell death.

It appears to be the product of the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, and may be symptomatic of membrane damage, or damage to mitochondria and lysosomes. Aside from a large lipid content, lipofuscin is known to contain sugars and metals, including mercury, aluminum, iron, copper and zinc.

Potential Natural Therapies

There are a number of natural therapies that can be used to reduce the accumulation of lipofuscin.  The following natural substances have been studied for their ability to reduce lipofuscn accumulation:

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine  1
  • Centrophenoxine  2
  • Creatine  3
  • DMAE  4
  • Ginkgo Biloba  5
  • Piracetam  6

Informational References:

BioFoundations – Lipopigments


Resources:

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Centrophenoxine

Creatine

DMAE

Ginkgo Biloba

Piracetam


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