Disease Management, Lifestyle

Look After Your Mitochondria & Boost Your Health


We can buy all the creams, pills and medicines in the world but if our mitochondria is not functioning the right way, we will still age rapidly, your skin will look dull, you will put on weight, lose hair, feel tired and be prone to conditions like – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism, Cardiovascular disease, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Dementia, Diabetes, Huntington’s disease, Migraine , headaches, cancers and a lot more.

Each of us are a composition of trillions of cells in our body. We were born from single cell and now our health depends on the individual health of each and every cell. Hence studying a disease at a cellular level is so important because every disease starts from a cell.

While medicines, creams, pills and all external aids can be used as a crutch, if you are looking to truly prevent or repair your body – you need to start focusing on cell and cellular health. Take “lack of energy” as an example since it’s something we often complain about. We run behind coffee, tea, energy drinks, sugar, carbs to charge us up forgetting that our body is capable of generating its own energy. Every single cell is just like a battery and has the power to light up a bulb. This is enough energy to get us through a day – be it physical, mental, workouts, digestion, etc. But what is the source of this energy? It’s the mitochondria!

Mitochondria is a component present in each of these trillion cells and that’s where this energy is generated. They are called as the powerhouse of the cell as these tiny cellular factories create energy for the body. In each of these mitochondria there are about 18,000- 20,000 assembly lines that take up nutrition and oxygen as raw materials and break it down to a molecule of energy called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is the energy currency and without it we cannot survive. Its what gives our body to perform all the tasks right from digestion to immunity system function. Lesser the number of ATP molecules, weaker is the body and a weak body is susceptible to all the viruses, bacteria and pathogens. Our immune system derives energy to function and stay strong through ATP as well. Unfortunately, most of us do not generate the energy our body is capable of due to our faulty lifestyle – unhealthy eating, no exercise, lack of sleep, unmanaged stress.

Generally, when our mitochondria utilise nutrients from the food we eat and oxygen from the air we breathe, it generates ATP along with by-products like water, carbon dioxide and free radicals which our body knows how to handle. However, in case of junk and processed eating, and therefore the lack of enough nutrients that mitochondria need to function properly, our body has to work harder to generate enough energy (ATP) and the number of by-products increase too. This means excess accumulation of carbon dioxide, water and free radicals in our body, more than our body can handle.

Ever felt sleepy and lethargic after a junk meal? Now know it’s because your body has excess of carbon dioxide in the system. Carbon dioxide makes us feel sleepy, tired and sluggish. This is fatigue caused by junk eating at a cellular level. To add to this, there is increase in free radicals and that’s closely connected to inflammation – the root cause of most diseases right from diabetes, obesity to cancer.

So, it’s literally up to us to control inflammation in our body by choosing the right foods so that the mitochondria don’t have to work way too hard and therefore produce more free radicals. This explains most people’s questions around chronic disease and sickness and why are they stuck in this vicious cycle of – Junk food >> overworking mitochondria >> inflammation, excess CO2, low energy levels and fatigue >> more consumption of sugary and junk food:

  • Excess exposure to sunlight and at the wrong time as it could damage cell DNA
  • Tobacco consumption and smoking
  • Motor skill dysfunction and autism could also lead to mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)

What makes your mitochondria function the right way:

  • Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains – is all that your cell needs to function the right way. Do not deprive your cell and mitochondria of these essentials just because you want to go on a fad diet. Its that simple and there are no short cuts to good health.
  • Omega 3 (flaxseeds or fish)
  • Dietary fibre in adequate amounts.
  • HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength training
  • No sugar, refined flour and all the junk food.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Quality sleep because those tiny factories needs rest
  • Bone broth because of high content of glutamine
  • Making lifestyle changes and prevent collateral damage if you are on statins. If you are on a statin, also add a selenium and CoQ10 supplement to preserve mitochondrial health.

Supplements that support mitochondrial function:

  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • N-acetyl cystine
  • Resveratrol
  • Magnesium
  • L -carnitine

However, one must take professional help and advice before adding any of these foods and lifestyle changes to boost mitochondrial health.

Also watch :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0RaODjujzc


Luke Coutinho

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