Mitochondria are unique organelles contained in every cell of the human body, other than red blood cells. They are involved in nearly every metabolic process, and they help produce 90 % of the body’s cellular energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Pictured below is a mitochondrial organelle.
In other words, they are your body’s power stations.
If you feel that you are not as energetic as you once were, read the below suggestions very carefully.
The mitochondria play a crucial role in “burning” the excess calories that we consume and if they are not functioning as they should be, this means you have metabolic problems.
Many anti-aging experts believe that the mitochondria are the determining factor in the speed of the aging process.
I will suggest three life-style changes that will improve the function of your mitochondria AND ENHANCE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE.
There are many things that one could do to improve mitochondrial function, such as supplementing with ALA (alpha lipoic acid), CoQ10, and Vitamins B2 and B3, but the three suggestions below COST NOTHING.
So, here goes:
Exercise can strengthen the performance of mitochondria in all areas of the body. Not only can exercise reduce oxidative stress when done properly (see my posts; “Sports/ Activities”, January 27,2015 and “Exercise”, February 3,2015) but exercise can increase mitochondrial activity by improving oxygen flow and blood pH. Remember, the body likes an alkaline environment rather than an acidic one.
People who exercise regularly have a larger amount of functioning mitochondria than those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
When one fasts, malfunctioning mitochondria are destroyed in a process known as mitophagy. Recall my post “Intermittent Fasting”, April 24, 2015, where I discuss autophagy, which is the destruction of old, worn out proteins in cells when one fasts. The body actually consumes these so even though you’re not eating you actually are being nourished.
There is a very interesting study where fasting rats were made to exercises and it was discovered that they gained muscle mass even though they weren’t enjoying their “after workout protein shake”; just kidding about the protein shake but they weren’t fed. How about that?
So autophagy (mitophagy) is a highly important capability for mitochondria to maintain because this ability enables the mitochondria to remove unwanted debris and accumulated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. These, as you know are free radicals.
The loss of mitophagy (mitochondrial autophagy) has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s and decreased immunity.
A ketogenic diet is rich in protein, GOOD FATS and low in carbohydrates. It has been used to suppress symptoms of muscle weakness and abnormal organ functions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
The purpose of a ketogenic diet is to change the metabolic state by which the body utilizes a specific food source for energy.
Ketones are alternative energy compounds, which fuel our cells when limited carbohydrates are available.
Ketogenic diets are so effective at improving mitochondrial function that they are used clinically to treat epilepsy. Epilepsy is a symptom of abnormal mitochondria in the hippocampus region of the brain.
There seems to be a mounting amount of evidence that ketogenic diets hold tremendous potential in the fight against cancer.
STAY HEALTHY until next time.