“Take care of your mitochondria and your mitochondria will take care of you.”
Yep, those are the kind of statements made in the seminars I attend. The conversations I have among my colleagues focus on clinical pearl statements like this. You may think it’s silly, but this statement from Dr. Robert Rakowski packs a powerful truth. Take care of all the energy manufacturing plants (the mitochondria) in your body and you will have the energy to live the life you want to live. Your mitochondria make your ATP. ATP, simply put, is the energy currency of life.
No ATP. No energy. No ATP. No health. No ATP. No function. You get the picture, right?
Your mitochondria are truly the power-house of the cells. 90% of the oxygen you take into your body is consumed by the one hundred thousand trillion mitochondria! Mitochondria take the calories you consume, combine them with oxygen, and turn this mixture into energy used to run everything in your body. Free radicals are produced with this process. You can think about your car’s exhaust system as a good analogy.
If you don’t have enough oxygen you can’t make ATP. No energy.
If you are toxic you damage your mitochondria and you can’t make ATP. No energy.
If you are deficient in the necessary micronutrients to run the mitochondria machinery you can’t make ATP. No energy.
It’s important to understand that all toxins disrupt mitochondria. Low oxygen damages mitochondria. Micronutrient deficiencies damage mitochondria.
There are some key players to consider when talking about nutrients and mitochondria function. You want to make sure you have adequate levels of the following:
- alpha lipoic acid
- trace minerals such as zinc and magnesium
- fruits and vegetables that are rich in color contain key necessary nutrients
If you are having low energy then that is a sign of low mitochondrial function. If you are having low energy then you are going to be low in the oxygen, fuel and activation required to be healthy.
Just the process of your mitochondria making ATP (energy) for you leads to damage of the cell membranes. This damage should be reduced, however, in healthy individuals with proper levels of antioxidants, plant nutrients, healthy fats and proteins and adequate levels of trace minerals. If oxidation is occurring at a level greater than your body can compensate, then there will be a breakdown of cell integrity over time.
This can be measured quite simply with a first morning urine sample that looks for a marker called malondialdehyde. We provide this Oxidata test in our office. If levels are high this indicates that you are having struggles with excess free radical formation, increased oxidation, increased cellular damage, and therefore poorer energy and oxygen utilization.
I have had patients with chronic pain, depression, or irritable bowel symptoms that had very high levels of oxidation. By improving their diet, adding in a broad array of antioxidants, increasing plant based alkalizing nutrients, using key mitochondria support supplements and taking a daily multiple vitamin they have been able to be free of the pain and dysfunction they have had for so long.