Why you should care about your mitochondria!

That interesting looking structure pictured above is a mitochondrion and is a major reason that you are alive. It provides the energy for all the things cells do to manage your body mechanisms. If the mitochondria in your body become damaged, you will age faster. One of the products produced by normal mitochondrial function actually damages mitochondria if your cells do not “sweep up the mess” that is produced by normal cell energy production. What happens when mitochondria get damaged?

Unexplained exhaustion? Energy lulls? General fatigue?

Don’t get me wrong—there can be a lot of different underlying reasons for low energy, but one thing we always consider is mitochondrial health.

Lots of doctors only mention the mitochondria in relation to inherited mitochondrial disorders. There are over 150 mitochondrial disorders that have been identified. These are rare and not what I am referring to at all. From a functional medicine perspective, we often see that suboptimal function can create issues, even in the absence of any diagnosable disease. A major focus of functional medicine is optimization before any disease can take root. If you already have a chronic disease, functional medicine looks for the root cause of that disease, corrects that imbalance, and optimizes functions of the body to maintain the balance that has been achieved. If you are on prescription medication, a functional medicine approach to your problem may allow you to get off your medications. How exciting is that?

Your mitochondria are tiny organelles inside your cells that are responsible for producing energy. We often call them the “powerhouse” of the cell. Through a series of intricate biochemical reactions, mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is required for certain things that occur in a cell that need energy. Your mitochondria are like the power company that provides you electricity for your home.

Some types of cells contain more mitochondria than others—like liver cells and muscle cells. The more lean muscle you have, the more mitochondria are contained within them. As you grow more muscle, you get more mitochondria. Mitochondria are also highly concentrated in heart muscle because of the high demand for energy there.

The robust function of your mitochondria can influence almost everything about your health, including:
➡ Energy levels
➡ Heart health
➡ Cholesterol
➡ Muscle recovery
➡ Metabolism
➡ Brain health
➡ Aging
➡ and more!

Regardless of whether you have any specific health concerns, supporting mitochondrial function gives your body the advantage of achieving optimal function, healthy aging, and more.

I’ll be sharing some ideas about how to keep your mitochondria healthy, including utrients and lifestyle habits, in upcoming posts. So, watch for that! In the meantime, drop any questions you have below so I can be sure to answer them!
#mitochondrialhealth #hearthealth #brainhealth #optimalhealth

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