We often think of health and disease in terms of the health of our organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain. However, true health happens on the cellular level. While the more significant manifestation may be a liver, kidney, or heart condition, invariably, the root cause almost always has something to do with cellular dysfunction.
Cells are actually little worlds all their own. They eat, they drink, they communicate, and they replicate. They have their own set of organs, called organelles, and these mitochondrial organelles are like tiny little engines that convert oxygen and nutrients into energy. This process is called oxidative phosphorylation. The energy that results is known as adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the cellular equivalent of fuel, which provides energy for cells to do their countless jobs. That is why mitochondria are called the “powerhouse of the cell” because ATP is used to support every essential function of the body in order to sustain life and support growth. Needless to say, mitochondrial health is a big deal.
Each cell in your body has anywhere from hundreds to thousands of mitochondria. Altogether it is estimated that we have trillions of mitochondria. This is where 90 percent of the energy our body needs to sustain life and support healthy organ function comes from. Not surprisingly, the heart, brain, central nervous system, and muscles have the most concentrated number of mitochondria.
When problems occur with our mitochondria, the consequences include low energy, fatigue, pain, memory loss, rapid aging, a diminished immune system, and possibly cancer.
The mitochondria also impact our metabolism, which can result in weight gain if our metabolism isn’t functioning in an optimum way. This partly explains why older people struggle to lose weight even when they are exercising and not overeating.
What Causes Our Mitochondria To Break Down?
Oxidative stress is the main reason the mitochondria break down. The body literally begins to rust on the inside. This occurs from overeating, eating refined sugar, eating junk food, eating fried foods, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, spending too much time in the sun, and being exposed to environmental toxins. The oxidation causes a breakdown in the cells, which damages tissue resulting in chronic disease.
The best anti-aging, disease-preventing, brain-empowering, and fat burning formula is to care for the body’s mitochondria. Here are several steps you can take to provide a healthy environment for our mitochondria to thrive with greater efficiency.
The first step is to get rid of internal toxins in the form of fast food, packaged food, fried food, soda pop, and sugar. Caloric restriction, or reduced calorie intake, has also shown to extend the lifespans of animals. By reducing the amount we eat and focusing on organic plant-based foods containing antioxidants and polyphenols. These crucial phytonutrients help fight free radicals and protect cellular and mitochondrial health.
Exercise is also essential for mitochondrial health. Activity boosts the number of mitochondria, as our muscles require more energy to match the increased exertion. A brisk, daily walk tells our cells they need more energy producers — and they respond in kind.
Mitochondrial failure causes cell injury that leads to cell death. When multiple organ cells die, there is organ failure. In adults, many challenges associated with aging have been found to have defects of mitochondrial function. Strengthening your mitochondria makes your cells resistant to stress and disease.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with numerous conditions, from cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s to autism, fibromyalgia, and cardiomyopathy. But it’s not limited to people with severe conditions. Research over the last ten years has implicated impaired mitochondrial function in one area that affects us all – Aging.
Aging On The Cellular Level
When researchers ask why we age, one of the frequent answers is that the function of our mitochondria slows down. Mitochondria are also crucial in apoptosis, the programmed cell death that usually takes place when cells are too damaged to function correctly. When mitochondria are impaired, unhealthy, aged cells are allowed to continue to reproduce.
But perhaps most importantly, the number of mitochondria in cells declines as we age. This can have a particularly negative impact on muscle cells, which require more energy and therefore tend to have more mitochondria. And remember, the heart is a muscle too.
Supplements That Bolster Your Mitochondria
Given the powerful impact, mitochondria have on cellular and overall health, it only makes sense to do everything we can to preserve them.
There are a number of supplements that can help, and the number one supplement to maintain the health of the mitochondria is RiBo-Fuel.
Ribo-Fuel contains the following ingredients:
- D-Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar that has been shown to support the production and recycling of ATP, which helps to increase energy formation in stressed tissues.
- Dimethylglycine: DMG is a metabolic enhancer that helps the body overcome various forms of stress, such as aging, reduced oxygen availability, free radical damage, and a weakened immune system. As a methyl donor, it contributes methyl groups to keep ATP levels high.
- Co-Enzyme Q10: CoQ10 is a naturally occurring cofactor in cellular energy. It is vital to the production of ATP. It improves the heart’s pumping ability, improves blood circulation, increases tolerance to exercise, and improves the heart’s muscle tone. In addition, CoQ10 is a natural antioxidant, which can actually eliminate free radicals so that it can protect us in two ways. CoQ10 is particularly beneficial for heart health, which makes sense since heart muscle cells require a lot of energy and are dense with mitochondria. CoQ10 levels decline after the age of 35.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a derivative of the amino acid, carnitine. It supports heart function by transporting fatty acids from the blood through to the mitochondrial membranes and into heart cells so the fatty acids can be converted into ATP. The heart requires a constant supply of ATP in order to provide enough energy for it to keep beating regularly.
- Malic Acid: Malic Acid is involved in energy production in muscle cells. It also supports increased ATP production because it’s involved in the Krebs cycle. Malic acid is also needed for glucose metabolism, which is essential for nourishing muscles and nerves.
- Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola is an herb that supports cellular energy metabolism. It promotes higher levels of ATP and CP (creatine phosphate), thus providing more of the energy molecules needed to perform many daily activities.
- Bromelain: Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that supports muscle recovery. It has been shown to alleviate muscle soreness after intense muscle contractions.
- Protease: Protease is a proteolytic enzyme that decreases muscle soreness following intense exercise.
Other Supplements That Help Preserve Mitochondria:
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is another powerful antioxidant that helps prevent, as well as scavenges for, free radicals. Some research has shown that both ALA and CoQ10 can support cognitive function, an area where mitochondrial health is critical.
Triple Magnesium: Magnesium is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats; also for energy production, and the utilization of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium, which are essential electrolytes. Magnesium is critical for heart health.
Medicinal mushrooms are potent and versatile supplements. One variety, in particular, cordyceps, has been shown to support mitochondrial health. Research demonstrates that this mushroom can help protect mitochondria from damage, scavenge free radicals, and may have other anti-aging properties. Mushrooms are also known for their ability to modulate immune function, a win-win.
Boosting mitochondrial efficiency can have positive effects on both our lifespan and health span, but there are also more immediate benefits. By mindfully contributing to mitochondrial health, we can support our daily energy production needed to meet the demands of our busy lives. At the same time, we take a big step towards maintaining our vital energy reserves and reducing fatigue for overall wellness. Taking care of your mitochondria is the real fountain of youth. It can help to slow the natural progression of aging, increased energy, enhances cognition, and keeps your metabolism higher to help you stay lean and healthy.