MITOCHONDRIAL ENERGY BLOCKERS
Aging, Chronic Illness, Autoimmune Diseases and Cancer ALL involve Mitochondrial damage, malfunction and Diminished energy production
Mitochondrial damage is supposed to be a part and parcel of the actual process of aging. You see, mitochondria transfer electrons across their internal membrane to generate energy in the form of ATP. This happens with the aid of the Electron Transport Chain.
Under the strain of high energy demand and production, mitochondria become less and less efficient enabling those electrons to "flow" and combine with Oxygen and Nitrogen directly to make "Free Radicals". Examples of these are: Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS). Free radicals are extremely harmful to whatever they touch: they cause damage to DNA, Cell Membranes, Proteins and Mitochondria themselves! Free radical damage to mitochondrial and cellular DNA is actually regarded as the process by which we age.
Apart from aging and fatigue, mitochondrial malfunction is a part of nearly every chronic disease known. Here's a Brief list of known conditions related to mitochondrial damage and lack in energy production:
- Autoimmune Illness: Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus
- Metabolic Syndrome: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Alzheimer's disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Stroke and Heart Disease
- Bipolar Disorder
What causes mitochondrial damage and energy production blockage?
- Medicines, Pesticides, Plastics, Toxins:
Drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), antibiotics, antifungals, blood pressure medications and poisonous substances such as pesticides and plastics have to be altered to be made water soluble before being removed from the body. This procedure called "Phase 1" removal occurs in the mitochondrial membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum and is regulated by a family of enzymes known as Cytochrome P450. Cytochrome P450 enzymes are much like the Electron Transport Chain that's also in the mitochondrial membrane and utilizes oxygen to generate energy in the form of ATP.
Cytochrome P450 enzymes are responsible for approximately 75% of overall drug metabolism. They are also responsible for a great deal of hormone breakdown and formation. For instance adrenal steroid synthesis (i.e. cortisol), testosterone, estrogen and cholesterol breakdown occurs in the mitochondrial membrane P450 chain.
Some medications inhibit the P450 enzymes while others promote them. Either procedure imbalances the system, uses up a great deal of energy and can result in hormonal imbalances or excessive "oxidation". Oxidation damages mitochondria, their membranes along with the parts of the electron transport chain inhibiting their capacity to create energy causing fatigue and exhaustion.
- Heavy Metals:
Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Aluminum, Antimony Nickel, Arsenic, amongst others inhibit the Citric Acid cycle in mitochondria. The Citric Acid Cycle is the way we break down fats, proteins and carbs to create energy. The red circles in the figure below show these thick metal inhibiting energy production in the mitochondria. Additionally, exposure to heavy metals induces growth in Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) free radicals resulting in harm to the mitochondrial membrane.
- Free Radical Damage:
As mentioned above, when cells require more energy the mitochondria become overworked. In young people, mitochondria can split and replicate fast to make more of themselves to meet greater cell energy demands. However, as mitochondria become more stressed by increasing energy demands they can not meet, they start to "leak" electrons through their membranes and trigger the creation of Free Radicals such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species (RON). All these free radicals damage mitochondrial DNA resulting in mutations. The mutated mitochondria can not replicate as efficiently, but rather expand in a futile attempt to make more energy. The enlarged mitochondria are extremely ineffective energy manufacturers, instead manufacturing a lot of harmful debris in the form of free radicals.
- Reduction of Mitochondrial Membrane Fluidity:
Mitochondria and cell membranes are created primarily of Phospholipids. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is one of the chief constituents of mitochondrial membranes. As stated previously, through times of stress, anxiety, and higher energy demand Free Radicals generated by inefficient mitochondria will "oxidize" (think of rusting) cell membranes and harm the phospholipids of the mitochondrial membrane causing the Electron Transport Chain to operate even more inefficiently. This causes more free radicals to be discharged and a vicious cycle equates to significantly less energy accessible and much more harm to cells. Eventually the cells don't have sufficient energy from mitochondria and they die. Luckily we can intervene with PC and antioxidant infusions before this happens.
Immediate Help: The DETOX IV
At Invigorate Health we urge that anybody with symptoms of fatigue or exhaustion and, by definition, mitochondrial dysfunction consider immediate intervention with the help of our Detox IV. Here are the benefits of our Detox IV:
- The Detox IV contains Phosphatidylcholine (PC) which is the most important element of mitochondrial and cell membranes.
Giving "new" PC intravenously is considered to result in an exchange of the PC in the mitochondrial membranes which was damaged by "electron leaks" along with the free radicals together with the PC in the IV infusion. When the mitochondrial membranes have been mended they operate better allowing nutrients like minerals, B vitamins and fats to enter mitochondria for energy production. Second, the Electron Transport Chain components also live in the mitochondrial membrane so re-establishing membrane fluidity is thought to enhance electron flow and efficiency of "trans-membrane potentials", a fancy way of saying better energy production in the form of ATP for the cells to utilize.
- Phosphatidylcholine (PC) includes a few other benefits. It's a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital in the performance of our nervous system. In the brain it facilitates attention and focus, while at the Autonomic Nervous System it facilitates optimum nerve conduction to the primary organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, intestine and adrenals. PC also "cleans up" cell membranes, which reduces cholesterol and enhances liver function which is crucial in detoxing from harmful compounds.
- The Detox IV finishes with a shot of Glutathione (GSH). As we mentioned previously, mitochondria under stress generate less energy and more free radicals as undesirable by-products that cause aging and damage (think of oxidation like rust). Glutathione is your "master antioxidant" of the human body and neutralizes harmful free radicals.
Detoxification also occurs in mitochondria and has two phases. In "Phase 1" of detoxification Cytochrome P450 enzymes in the membrane of the mitochondria" oxidize foreign materials such as drugs, hormones and pesticides to get them more water soluble and removed from our bodies. The "Phase 1" oxidized compounds act much like free radicals and may be equally as damaging so they require immediate "processing".
In "Phase 2" of detoxification molecules like Glutathione "conjugate" the active byproducts (drugs, pesticides, hormones etc.) of Phase 1 by making them inert and harmless and ready to be excreted. Finally, Glutathione plays a major part in the Citric Acid Cycle from the mitochondria as a cofactor involved directly in energy production from fats, protein and carbohydrates. It is possible to see why Glutathione is such a key player in combating fatigue, raising energy and cleaning up cellular metabolic "debris" that cause harm and ages the cell.