Professor Bruce Ames demonstrated that nutritional recommendations should be adjusted in order to 'tune-up' metabolism and reduce mitochondria decay, a hallmark of aging and many disease processes. A major subset of tunable nutrients are the minerals, which despite being integral to every aspect of metabolism are often deficient in the typical Western diet. Mitochondria are particularly rich in minerals, where they function as essential cofactors for mitochondrial physiology and overall cellular health. Yet substantial knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of the form and function of these minerals needed for metabolic harmony. Some of the minerals have known activities in the mitochondria but with incomplete regulatory detail, whereas other minerals have no established mitochondrial function at all. A comprehensive metallome of the mitochondria is needed to fully understand the patterns and relationships of minerals within metabolic processes and cellular development. This brief overview serves to highlight the current progress towards understanding mineral homeostasis in the mitochondria and to encourage more research activity in key areas. Future work may likely reveal that adjusting the amounts of specific nutritional minerals has longevity benefits for human health.
Keywords: Differentiation; Metals; Minerals; Mitochondria; Redox.
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