Optimising Mitochondrial Function
Mitochondria are known as ‘the powerhouse of the cell’ and are present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. They play host to one of the most important processes in the body: cellular respiration. Taking in glucose and oxygen, mitochondria produce energy rich molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Much of what determines our health, occurs in our cells. The proper functioning of our cellular metabolism is one of the keys to efficiently producing energy.
When optimum energy is produced by the cell, it has the capacity to fulfil its many functions involving regeneration, detoxification, and it’s unique genetically programmed role e.g. liver cell, muscle cell, brain cell, nerve cell, etc.
Loss of function in mitochondria, can result in excess fatigue and other symptoms that are common complaints in almost every chronic disease.
In its initial stages, mitochondrial dysfunction is reversible, enabling the life and health of cells to be prolonged at the molecular level. The key lies in early interventions to ensure optimal mitochondrial function before irreversible DNA damage occurs.
The concept of “Qi” in TCM is closely related to bioenergy in modern medicine.
The central player in bioenergetics is the mitochondrion.
Due to the fact that both Qi and bioenergy are at the centre of life activity, a Qi-deficiency can lead to mitochondrial energy metabolism obstacles, which can be improved by Qi-invigoration such as kinesiology, nutrition and lifestyle modulation.
If there is not enough Qi (deficiency), one or more organs can become imbalanced and develop energy function disorders. Impaired mitochondrial ATP formation may be the key characteristic of Qi-deficiency.
There is now a growing body of evidence that mitochondria are intimately involved in the aetiology of numerous human pathologies. Therefore, effective prevention and treatments for mitochondrial dysfunction has become popular.
Excess intake of nutrients, including overloaded free fatty acids (FFAs) or hyperglycaemic conditions increases ROS (reactive oxygen species) production (also know as free radicals) and reduces mitochondrial biogenesis, causing mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to decreased β-oxidation and ATP production and increased ROS production, resulting in insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
A logical way to combat mitochondrial dysfunction is to correct the bioenergetic alterations seen at the cellular level. Qi-invigoration is also able to improve mitochondrial bioenergetics. Logically, therefore, Qi-invigoration can prevent mitochondrial diseases.
Micronutrients that support Mitochondrial Energy Production:
Essential role in electron transport chain
Free radical scavenger
Deficiency associated with mitochondrial damage
Critically involved in the synthesis of ATP
Conjugates fatty acids for transport
Modulates oxidation rates
Transports toxic compounds out of mitochondria
Supports healthy membrane function
Reduces mitochondrial decay
Cofactor for mitochondrial enzymes
Regenerative effect on mitochondria
Optimises mitochondrial function
Reverses cell ageing
B1, B2, B3 required in Kreb’s cycle and electron transport chain
Biotin for regulating fatty acid oxidation
In many cases this may not be an overt nutrient deficiency, but rather a ‘distortion’ in the body’s electromagnetic template. This can result in poor uptake, assimilation or utilisation of a nutrient.
A combination of kinesiology, nutrition and lifestyle modulation can significantly reduce the fatigue and other symptoms associated with chronic conditions and naturally restore mitochondrial function, even in cases of long-term chronic fatigue.
Ready to learn more?
Nutrition Foundations looks at bioenergetics and metabolism. This includes an understanding of biochemical individuality and how to balance key hormonal, cellular, mitochondrial and toxicity influences using real food.
Based on principles of functional medicine, this courses also has a unique test kit that makes working with nutrition and bioenergetics simple. This includes an easy to learn system-orientated model of kinesiology, capable of addressing the healthcare needs of the 21st century.