Three of our research efforts are reviewed, which suggest that optimizing metabolism will delay aging and the diseases of aging in humans. (1) Research on delay of the mitochondrial decay of aging by supplementing rats with lipoic acid and acetyl carnitine. (2) The triage theory, which posits that modest micronutrient deficiencies (common in much of the population) accelerate molecular aging, including mitochondrial decay, and supportive evidence, including an analysis in depth of vitamin K, that suggests the importance of achieving optimal micronutrient intake for longevity. (3) The finding that decreased enzyme binding constants (increased Km) for coenzymes (or substrates) can result from protein deformation and loss of function due to loss of membrane fluidity with age, or to polymorphisms or mutation. The loss of enzyme function can be ameliorated by high doses of a B vitamin, which raises coenzyme levels, and indicates the importance of understanding the effects of age, or polymorphisms, on micronutrient requirements.
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