UPGRADING YOUR PURPLE MITO-BRAIN: THE MITOCHONDRIA
Published On June 9, 2017 By: Justin Dutra
When you think of energy you usually think of nutritious foods and how much sleep you have gotten the night prior to dictate your destiny energy reserve for the rest or beginning of the day. Little did you know that your overall and general wellbeing is controlled by the purple billion year old, ancient bacteria called the ‘Mitochondria.’
How Mitochondria Produce Energy:
To produce energy, your mitochondria require oxygen from the air you breathe and fat and glucose from the food you eat. These two processes — breathing and eating — are coupled together in a process called oxidative phosphorylation. That’s what the mitochondria use to generate energy in the form of ATP. Your mitochondria have a series of electron transport chains in which they pass electrons from the reduced form of the food you eat to combine it with oxygen from the air you breathe and ultimately to form water. This process drives protons across the mitochondrial membrane, which recharges ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate). ATP is the carrier of energy throughout your body. However, that process also produces byproducts such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are damaging to your cells, and your mitochondrial DNA, which are then transferred to your nuclear DNA. So there’s a trade-off. In producing energy, your body also ages from the damaging aspects from the ROS that are generated. How quickly your body ages largely depends on how well your mitochondria work, and how much damage can be minimized by diet optimization. Often called the “powerhouse of the cell,” mitochondria produce energy as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that your body then uses to fuel your day-to-day activities. Mitochondria dictate how you feel all the time. They’re the foundation of a strong body and a powerful mind.
Some cells have more mitochondria than others. Your brain, heart, and retina cells are teeming with these little guys. You want tons of these guys working at full capacity and cranking out constant energy. Stronger mitochondria make for stronger brains and stronger bodies. So does consistency: mitochondrial biogenesis, or creating new mitochondria, becomes crucial for vibrant aging, optimal energy production, and protection against oxidative stress. Mitochondria are tiny organelles, originally thought to be derived from bacteria. Red blood cells and skin cells have very little to none, while germ cells have 100,000, but most cells have one to 2,000 of them. They’re the primary source of energy for your body. In order for your organs to function properly, they require energy, and that energy is produced by the mitochondria. Since mitochondrial function is at the very heart of everything that occurs in your body, optimizing mitochondrial function – and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction by making sure you get all the right nutrients and precursors your mitochondria need – is extremely important for health and disease prevention. The opposite – mitochondrial dysfunction – spells disaster for your energy levels, contributing to numerous problems including cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Unfortunately, the enormous amount of energy your mitochondria produce makes them susceptible to free radical damage and decay as you age. This means that your mitochondria become weaker and decline in number as you age. Ultimately, all the things we associate with aging – fatigue, excess fat, and a decrease in muscle mass and cognitive ability – are all symptoms of weakening mitochondria. Here are five ways you can support your mitochondria (even grow new ones!) for greater vitality and a more vigorous life.
1) Curb Inflammation:
Inflammation plays a key role in aging, damaging mitochondria and increasing mitochondrial dysfunction. Ways to dial down inflammation include exercising, taking a quality krill oil supplement, and following a high fat paleo eating diet, where you replace inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, and omega-6 oils with anti-inflammatory , nutrient-rich fats, meats, and vegetables and omega-3 foods and oils.
2) Get Good Sleep:
Studies show crappy sleep and sleep disorders play a key role in mitochondrial dysfunction. In 2012, researchers identified the glymphatic system, which uses the cells’ mitochondria to remove cellular waste from the brain, particularly while you sleep. In other words, as you sleep, the cells in your brain use their mitochondria to remove cellular waste. Here’s a guide to hacking your sleep.
3) Boost Your Brain Fuel:
Brain Octane or MCT oil turns into ketones within minutes, providing abundant fuel for your mitochondria. Ketones boost your metabolism, increase fat burning, curb hunger, and sharpen your focus. They make your mitochondria more efficient at producing energy.
4) HIIT Workouts:
Moving your body improves mitochondrial function and helps your brain perform better. Exercise also promotes mitochondrial health, as it forces your mitochondria to work harder. As mentioned earlier, one of the side effects of mitochondria working harder is that they’re making reactive oxygen species, which act as signaling molecules. One of the functions they signal is to make more mitochondria. So, when you exercise, your body will respond by creating more mitochondria to keep up with the heightened energy requirement.
Aging is inevitable. But your biological age can be quite different from your chronological age, and your mitochondria have a lot to do with your biological aging. Patrick cites a recent study showing how people can age biologically at very different rates. The researchers measured over a dozen different biomarkers, such as telomere length, DNA damage, cholesterol LDL, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity, at three points in people’s lives: ages 22, 32 and 38. Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to work out your mitochondria. One study found just two weeks of HIIT “significantly increased mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle.”
5)Take An Mitochondria Supplement(s):
The best supplement to crank up your mitochondria is a unique active form of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), the cousin of the popular supplement CoQ10. Adding ActivePQQ, the activated form of PQQ, can initiate mitochondria biogenesis fight against inflammation because it’s a protecting antioxidant. PQQ literally guards you from oxidative stress increase mitochondria density, boost metabolism, increase energy production, and improve learning and memory ability and skills. Taking 10-40 mg daily before bed or during an energy slump is recommended.
Another helpful antioxidant to protect you from heavy metal damage, supports liver enzymes that break down mycotoxins oxidative stress and free radicals your mitochondria may produce is glutathione. Glutathione is your master antioxidant in the liver and impacts every cell in the body. A combination of the amino acid NAC and vitamin C can give your body the ingredients to build glutathione on its own by supplementation or by taking a high-quality glutathione capsule. 500 mg or more daily in the morning or night on an empty stomach is ideal.
Last but not least is co-enzyme Q10 (COQ10) which acts to carry electrons into the inner mitochondrial membrane where it is oxidized to create energy more efficiently and protect from oxidative stress. A good dosage is 30-100 mg daily.
The keynote here is to maintain maximum absorption through the use of liposomes or sufficient fat intake when ingesting these mitoboosters. Brain octane or MCT oil can be taken with these nutrients so they are absorbed 90% once past through the GI tract.
6) Fasting Promotes Healthy Mitochondrial Function
Fasting works your body has to rely on lipids and stored fats for energy, which means your cells are forced to use their mitochondria. Your mitochondria are the only mechanisms by which your body can make energy from fat. So, fasting helps activate your mitochondria. She also believes this plays a huge part in the mechanism by which intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet may kill cancer cells, and why certain drugs that activate mitochondria can kill cancer cells. Again, it’s because it creates a burst of reactive oxygen species, the damage from which tips the scale and causes the cancer cells to die.
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