Mitochondria: The Fountain of Youth by Stacy Millett, PhD, ACSM, LMT – Mitochondria are organelles (an essential part of the human cell) that convert oxygen and nutrients into energy. This process is called oxidative phosphorylation. The energy itself is known as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is used to support every essential function in our body. Each cell has hundreds to thousands of mitochondria. All together, we have 100,000 trillion mitochondria. This is where 90 percent of the energy comes from to sustain life and support healthy organ function. The heart, brain, central nervous system, and muscles hold the most concentrated number of mitochondria.
When problems occur with mitochondria, the consequences include low energy, fatigue, pain, memory loss, rapid aging, and a diminished immune system. The mitochondria also impact on our metabolism, which can result in weight gain if our metabolism is not functioning in an optimum way. This partly explains why some adults struggle to lose weight even if that are exercising moderately and not overeating.
Oxidative stress is the main reason the mitochondria break down. The body is literally rusting on the inside. This occurs mostly from overeating, eating refined sugar, eating junk food, eating fried food, smoking, spending too much time in the sun, sun burns, and being exposed to environmental toxins. The oxidation breaks down the cells, which damages tissue resulting in weight gain and eventually chronic diseases.
The best anti-aging, disease-preventing, brain-empowering, and fat-metabolizing formula is to care for the body’s mitochondria. Here are several proven steps to provide a healthy environment for our mitochondria to thrive with greater efficiency.
A good first step is to get rid of internal toxins in the form of fast food, packaged food, fried food, soda, and sugar. Special tests are available to see if you have exposure to heavy metal toxins.
Exercise is also very important for the mitochondria. Interval training or HIIT (high intensity interval training) are excellent forms of exercise that benefit the mitochondria.
Eating a plant-based diet, along with healthy sources of protein and fats, will feed the mitochondria the right nutrients to function optimally.
And finally, taking a daily regimen of mitochondria boosting supplements is icing on the cake. Options include: Coenzyme Q-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Resveratrol, Magnesium aspartate, D-ribose, Carnitine, NADH, N-acetyl-cysteine, creatine CHL, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Taking care of your mitochondria is the fountain of youth. It can help to slow the natural progression of aging, increase energy, enhance cognition, and keep your metabolism higher to help you stay lean.
Stacy Millett owns Integrative Health of South Florida (IHSF) in Englewood. Visit IHealthSF.com or call 561-529-0919.