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    The Science Behind Our Secret Powerhouse - The Mitochondria

      |  Feb 15, 2023

    Mitochondria are often referred to as the "powerhouses" of our cells, and for good reason. These tiny organelles are responsible for producing the energy our cells need to function properly, and their health is essential for overall health and longevity. In this post, I want to discuss the importance of maintaining mitochondrial health, and the key pathways that must be optimized in order to achieve this.

    The Science Behind the Powerhouse:

    First, let's define what mitochondria are and their role in health: Mitochondria are membrane-bound structures within our cells that are responsible for generating the energy required for cellular processes. This energy is produced through a series of metabolic pathways, including glucose and fat metabolism, the citric acid cycle, and the electron transport chain. These pathways are interrelated, and disruptions in any one of them can affect the health of the entire mitochondria.

    1. Glucose and fat metabolism is the first critical pathway in mitochondrial function. Glucose is the primary source of energy for most cells, but when glucose is not available, the body will switch to fat metabolism as an alternate energy source. The first step in energy production involves breaking down glucose, fat or protein to a molecule known as Acetyl-CoA, which can be harnessed in subsequent steps in energy production. B vitamins and magnesium are essential for optimal glucose and fat metabolism.

    2. The citric acid cycle is the next important pathway in mitochondrial function. It takes the Acetyl-CoA molecules produced from glucose and fat metabolism and creates precursor molecules that are used in the last step, which is called the electron transport chain.

    3. The electron transport chain is responsible for the production of ATP, which is the primary energy source for our cells. 

    What Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

    Experiencing acute or chronic stress, infections, and other environmental exposures, can lead to oxidative stress that damages mitochondria and disrupts these key pathways. As we age, we accumulate more damaged mitochondria, which can impair energy production and contribute to a cycle of cellular damage. 

    Mitochondrial function can be disturbed in a variety of ways. As we age, we accumulate more damaged mitochondria, which can impair energy production and contribute to cellular damage. Oxidative stress is another major cause of mitochondrial dysfunction, as it can damage the mitochondria and disrupt its metabolic pathways. Oxidative stress can result from a variety of sources, but most commonly results from acute or chronic stress, infections, and environmental exposures.

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in a range of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction can include fatigue, muscle weakness, and decreased exercise tolerance.

    How Can I Maintain Mitochondrial Function?

    There are several ways to improve mitochondrial function and support their health. B vitamins and magnesium are important for the initial pathways in mitochondrial function- glucose and fat metabolism. This is because B vitamins and magnesium are important cofactors for the enzymes involved in these pathways. Taking NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) supplements can optimize the electron transport chain, the subsequent step in mitochondrial energy production, resulting in improved mitochondrial function. In addition, engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and reducing exposure to toxins and stress can all help support the health of our mitochondria. Modern Age offers NAD + IV drip therapy as well as NAD+ Injections.

    The health of our mitochondria is critical to our overall well-being. By understanding the key pathways of energy production within the mitochondria, we can take steps to maintain their proper function and prevent the development of diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.