Minding Mitochondria Increases Functional Energy

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HeConnection-Equipped-Minding Mitochondria Increases Functional EnergyMinding Mitochondria Increases Functional Energy – Many people’s bodies have become inefficient at utilizing energy because they keep lifestyle habits that are counterproductive to getting the most energy output from their cells. Unless they eliminate these habits, their efforts to be more energetic, instead of increasing endorphin production and happiness, may just increase their free radical production.

Free radicals are at the opposite end of the spectrum from energy. They create tiredness. They wear down the body faster and generally work to create unhappiness. But, by understanding the biochemistry of human energy production, you can increase your energy utilization, and your happiness while lowering your free radical load.

Ensuring a High Energy Signal

The thyroid gland is like a building thermostat sending a message to a furnace to produce heat. Unlike a thermostat, the thyroid doesn’t send its message to a single furnace, but, instead, sends the message to zillions of mitochondria via the chemical thyroxin that they should burn more fuel to create more biochemical energy.

In order for the thyroid to send this “make more energy” message, the body needs ample amounts of iodine. There must be four atoms of iodine in each molecule of thyroxin (T4), the chemical that transmits the message to the mitochondria. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in iodine (because it isn’t in their food) with the result that the “make more energy” command isn’t communicated from the thyroid to the mitochondria. The consequence of this is low energy, low production of endorphins, and also fat gain (because food energy isn’t converted to energy, but is instead stored as fat).

To determine whether one is deficient in iodine, a simple test can be performed. First, obtain a bottle of liquid iodine. Then, with that iodine, paint a two inch circle on one’s skin. The skin will turn yellowish-brown where the iodine has been applied. Then, observe how long it takes for the iodine to be absorbed into the body (i.e., the color to disappear). If less than 48 hours, one is deficient in iodine, and needs to remedy that deficiency, so one’s energy level can go higher.

Helping the Mitochondria to be Able to Efficiently Make Energy in a High Energy Mode

The energy that powers human cells is chemically obtained from fat and sugar in the power producing organelles called mitochondria. Each cell of the body has one or more mitochondria, according to that particular cell’s need for energy. Heart cells, for instance, have several thousand mitochondria per cell, while skin has only a few mitochondria per cell.

Maintaining the mitochondria’s abiltity to “burn” fuel is a grand key to capacitating one’s life toward more happiness through energy utilization.

To maintain optimum mitochondrial function, there are four keys:

  1. Not “overheating” the mitochondria
  2. Burning the most efficient fuel
  3. Maintaining the mitochondria
  4. Supplying energy catalysts

# 1 Key – Not Overheating the Mitochondria

The first key for preserving the mitochondria’s ability efficiently produce energy is to keep the mitochondria from overheating. In this respect, think of the mitochondria as car engines. Instead of creating energy by combustion (with heat as a byproduct), the mitochondria create energy through chemical reactions that produce free radicals (as a “harmful” byproduct of that energy creation, similar to heat).

The worst possible thing you can do to a car engine is to overheat the engine by running it without adequate engine oil or coolant to cool the engine down. In the case of mitochondria, the equivalent of “engine oil and coolant”, that will keep the mitochondria from overheating, are antioxidants, and especially antioxidants, designed to work in the mitochondria, called mitochondrial antioxidants.

Unlike a car, which can be forced to run until the engine seizes, the mitochondria will, upon sensing too many free radicals, put themselves into into a low energy mode, so that very few additional free radicals are created. This would be similar to a car engine, upon sensing too much heat building up, shutting itself down until the heat has dissipated. When the mitochondria go into this low energy mode, one feels “very tired“. Thus, free radicals over whelming the mitochondria is the true cause of human tiredness.

Maintaining high levels of mitochondrial antioxidants is the only way to successfully deal with mitochondrial free radicals, so that we can function in a high energy mode without getting tired. Glutathione is the master mitochondrial antioxidant. Its presence in the mitochondria boosts the levels of all other mitochondrial antioxidants.

# 2 Key – Burning the Most Efficient Fuel

When your body is operating efficiently, it will burn stored fat for energy (ketosis) instead of circulating blood sugar. Burning fat is much more efficient than burning sugar because far fewer free radicals are created per unit of ATP energy liberated. Free radicals are so destructive to health and lifespan that Dr. Ron Rosedale went so far as to say:

“Health and life span are determined by the proportion of fat versus sugar people burn throughout their lifetime and so the more fat that one burns as fuel, the healthier a person will be, and the more likely he or she will live a long time. …the more sugar a person burns, the more disease ridden and the shorter a life span a person is likely to have.”

Many people’s bodies have become sugar burners. There is a way to change them back to being fat burners. If you have age spots on your skin, afternoon energy crashes, food cravings, inflammation, diabetes, or virtually any disease, you can BE VIRTUALLY CERTAIN that you are functioning in the harmful sugar burning mode. You need to change that as soon in your life as possible.

Switching from the inefficient, inflammation producing, free-radical overloading, tissue-glycating, sugar burning mode to the more efficient, healthier fat burning (ketogenic) mode requires several disciplines. To summarize:

  1. Avoid simple sugars and simple carbs… that means eschew soda pop, fruit juice, cake, candy, jam on bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.
  1. Eat fibrous, raw (or lightly cooked) brightly colored vegetables – at least nine total servings (1/2 cup per serving). These foods are important because they fill the stomach with fiber, which creates fullness and acts as intestinal scrubbers to clean the intestines). Also, they provide much needed nutrients, and don’t fill the stomach with excessive carbohydrate calories. The greatest obstacle to being a fat burner is excessive carbohydrate calories.
  1. Exercise for forty minutes or more daily. This helps “push” your body into fat burning mode, especially when you do it before breakfast or after the last meal of the day.

# 3 Key – Maintaning the Mitochondria

Our cellular mitochondria are not made of hardened steel (like car engines), but are very fragile. So, they are constantly being damaged by oxidants (free radicals) that are produced coincident to energy production.

The mitochondria are also damaged by toxins that invade us (heavy metals, pesticides, industrial chemicals, prescription drugs, etc.) and by sugar cross linking (i.e. glycation, resulting in AGEs).

As our mitochondria become damaged they will become less and less efficient at producing energy until finally, their ability to create more energy than free radicals is gone and then we must die of old age. It is paramount, therefore, to constantly repair mitochondrial damage as soon as possible after it occurs. To do so, requires two things: good sleep and good nutrition.

Good sleep is a key to repairing the mitochondria because that is when our mitochondria go into low energy mode and allow repair work to be accomplished. Optimum nutrition is essential because nutrients provide both the tools and raw the materials needed to make the repairs. The key to providing good nutrition to one’s body is to eat a variety of nutrient dense food.

# 4 Key – Supplying Energy Catalysts

Certain catalysts (nutrient chemicals that enable or accelerate chemical reactions) are essential in order for the mitochondria to efficiently transform foods into energy. These catalysts include minerals (especially magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, sodium and potassium), all the B-Vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin D.

Probiotics are able to produce many of the other catalysts, especially B-Vitamins and Vitamin K. They are like afterburners on a jet engine in terms of increasing our energy.

Eat the type of fatty acids that will incorporate into your cell membranes and attract oxygen into the cell (oxygen is essential to energy production processes in the mitochondria). We also need to avoid the fatty acids (oils) that will restrict oxygen flow into the cells – speaking of processed polyunsaturated oils.

Finally, Vitamin D is required because without it minerals are not utilized correctly in the body. We need our levels to be high (60 to 80 ng/ml). Vitamin K is also essential. We can either make it via probiotic action or supplement with it.

With the above information, you now know enough to live your life with energy, and you know more than most people about slowing down the aging process.

A Warning

Some people will regularly utilize stimulants (like caffeine) to force their mitochondria to produce energy even when their mitochondria are overwhelmed by free radicals and thus creating tiredness. This is like driving a car when oil and radiator coolants are gone (very damaging to the engine). The continued use of stimulants to drive energy production in this way will damage your mitochondria, with the eventual result that your mitochondria will be damaged so badly that only stimulants can keep them going.

To summarize

If you aren’t utilizing a lot of energy in your life, you are living far below your potential for happiness. Simply put, you will be happier if your cells are using efficiently large amounts of energy.

Health-e-Solutions Comment

The Roman Diet does tend to be fat-burning, complimented by foods that help keep alkaline buffers well-replenished and body pH balanced. It is good to read that healthy fat is the most efficient fuel source for the body, and that it has so many benefits. We agree. The Roman Diet is high in healthy fats.

We encourage you to consult with your medical professional before taking any new supplements. We think supplements, vitamins and minerals can be important additions to any healthy lifestyle, but careful consideration of the type, quality, dose and duration can all play vital role in determining supplementation success.

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