The mitophagy activator urolithin A is safe and induces a molecular signature of improved mitochondrial and cellular health in humans
Urolithin A (UA) is a natural dietary, microflora-derived metabolite shown to stimulate mitophagy and improve muscle health in old animals and in preclinical models of aging. Here, we report the results of a first-in-human clinical trial in which we administered UA, either as a single dose or as multiple doses over a 4-week period, to healthy, sedentary elderly individuals. We show that UA has a favourable safety profile (primary outcome). UA was bioavailable in plasma at all doses tested, and 4 weeks of treatment with UA at doses of 500 mg and 1,000 mg modulated plasma acylcarnitines and skeletal muscle mitochondrial gene expression in elderly individuals (secondary outcomes). These observed effects on mitochondrial biomarkers show that UA induces a molecular signature of improved mitochondrial and cellular health following regular oral consumption in humans.