Mitochondrial health is one of the most essential elements in your overall health and energy. However, you may not know much about the “powerhouse of your cells” as you learned in biology class.
Mitochondria take in food and oxygen and convert them into energy. This energy is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which supports every function of your body.
Dr. Mark Hyman, a leader in functional medicine, explains it this way:
“Each cell holds hundreds or thousands of mitochondria; I found them in greater concentrations in active organs and tissues like the heart, brain, and muscles. In fact, we have more than 100,000 trillion mitochondria in our bodies, and each one contains 17,000 little assembly lines for making ATP. Mitochondria are where metabolism happens.”
Besides ATP, mitochondria also produce a byproduct called ROS (reactive oxygen species), a type of free radical. These free radicals can damage the mitochondria if you don’t have enough antioxidants in your diet (or make enough in your body).
Genetics, diet, exercise, and toxins can all impact mitochondrial health. It’s important to understand that mitochondria can be easily damaged, leading to fatigue, memory loss, low energy, pain, rapid aging, and much more.
Why is Mitochondrial Health so Crucial?
Here are a few reasons mitochondrial health is vital to your overall health and longevity:
- Energy Production. ATP is the primary energy source for cellular processes. Proper Mitochondrial function helps tissues and organs to function properly.
- Metabolism and Nutrient Utilization. Mitochondria break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for proper cell functioning.
- Oxidative Stress. An imbalance of ROS production and removal can cause oxidative stress, resulting in cellular damage and a range of diseases.
- Apoptosis (Cell Death). Mitochondria help control programmed cell death called apoptosis. Poorly functioning mitochondria can lead to abnormal cell survival or excessive cell death. This can harm the function of tissues and organs.
- Aging and Age-Related Diseases. As mitochondria age, they become less efficient and more susceptible to damage. Lower energy production and higher ROS can cause neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and metabolic disorders.
Health Issues Linked to Mitochondrial Dysfunction
- Cardiovascular disease
- Skin disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Reproductive problems
- Fatty liver disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Insulin resistance
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
The Connection between Mitochondrial Health and Thyroid Health
When your mitochondria are damaged, it damages all your cells, including hormone-producing cells. Thyroid hormones, however, have a reciprocal relationship with mitochondria — specifically the T3 hormone.
T3 affects almost every process in the body. It plays a vital role in metabolism, brain development, the heart and digestive system, muscle control, and bone health. T3 also regulates mitochondrial activity: Without it, mitochondria produce less energy and eventually die.
However, as we mentioned, this is a reciprocal relationship. When toxins, stress, or other factors damage mitochondria, the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. This leads to reduced mitochondrial efficiency, which then leads to reduced thyroid hormones — it’s a vicious cycle.
That’s why it’s vital to find out how well your thyroid is functioning. At Dynamic Life Health Center, our providers are thyroid experts, and we can get your thyroid right. Learn more about our comprehensive thyroid treatment on our Thyroid Disorders and Treatment page.
Mitochondria and Gut Health
Your gut is the frontline of defense for your immune system. It’s constantly exposed to toxins, chemicals, pesticide residues, bacteria, and more. Processes in your gut can also affect your central nervous system, brain, and moods.
The connection between the gut and mitochondria is both fascinating and crucial to understand. In the gut, cells with their mitochondria and ATP production exist next to the bacteria that make up the gut microbiota. These bacteria mainly interact with the body’s cells through the mitochondria.
Enhancing the gut microbiome can improve the functionality, quality, and diversity of mitochondria. However, an imbalance in the gut flora, known as gut dysbiosis, can lead to chronic inflammation, disrupting hormone balance and energy production.
To learn more about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome, please visit our Gut Health page.
How You Can Improve Your Mitochondrial Health
- Eat whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- Increase omega-3 fats to help build the mitochondrial membranes. Oily fish like salmon are a great source of omega-3s.
- Eliminate processed foods, sugar, and junk foods.
- Remove toxins from your body and environment.
- Take supplements that support mitochondrial function, such as CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid, and L-carnitine.
- Get enough high-quality sleep to allow your body to repair and restore itself.
- Incorporate stress-management techniques into your daily schedule.
- Exercise regularly, and add HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) to your routine. Studies have shown that HIIT training can improve mitochondrial health.
- Balance your hormones. This includes discovering anything that could cause your thyroid hormones to be out of balance.
- Improve your gut health and reduce inflammation.
The Vibrant Wellness Micronutrient Test Identifies Deficiencies and Measures some Mitochondrial Levels
The Vibrant Wellness Micronutrient Test measures how well micronutrients function at a cellular level, and not just the blood levels of nutrients.
Other serum blood tests may only look at the concentration of nutrients outside of the cells. But the SpectraCell shows levels within the cell structure where the essential metabolic function occurs. It is an excellent indicator of overall health.
Another advantage of the test is that it will show long-term micronutrient status over a period of months — not just a snapshot of where levels may be for the day you complete the test. Read more to see how comprehensive our micronutrient testing is!
Because nutrition is the foundation of health, we offer this test to all patients as one of the first steps to determining the root causes of illness and hormonal imbalance.
What Could be Damaging Your Mitochondrial Health? We Can Help You Find Out.
At Dynamic Life Health Center, we specialize in optimizing health and proactively addressing the negative effects of aging. As you have read, mitochondrial health is a key factor in rapid aging.
With mitochondrial health, many issues may be at play. That’s why we will spend quality, personalized time with you to understand what may be causing your symptoms. Our comprehensive treatment may include:
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Thyroid Treatment
- Gut Health Testing
- Nutritional Testing
- Sleep Disorder Treatment
- And much more
We will do whatever is needed to determine exactly what may be causing your condition so you can live a long, vibrant life.
Contact our New Patient Coordinator for More Information
When many patients come to see us, they have lost hope because they’ve felt unwell for so long and don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s rewarding as a practitioner to help so many people realize a much-improved quality of life and a regained sense of vitality!
Please call us to get more information about how our clinic and providers can help you with your health goals and to schedule an appointment.
We look forward to the opportunity to restore your health and regain your vitality for life!
For More Information, Call Us at 817-539-6168
Or fill in the inquiry form below and tell us the best way to reach you.
"*" indicates required fields