Energy is the ability to do work. Mitochondria are organelles in all of our cells that serve as energy producers and distributors. Metabolic processes take place constantly in pathways that produce units of energy. The mitochondria transform food (fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose) into highly efficient energy molecules by the process of oxidation.
Unfortunately, this process also produces harmful chemicals or free radicals that can be damaging to our tissues. But how does this relate to health and disease?
The conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction, autism, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, cardiovascular disease, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hemochromatosis or iron overload, multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple sclerosis, asthma, cancer, and pancreatic dysfunction such as diabetes. But this list does not include all ailments of mitochondrial dysfunction. Energy dysfunction affects all systems in our bodies because in order to thrive, we must have energy. And without energy, we “can’t move a muscle”, or we “can’t think clearly” because of brain fog, or we are just “too fatigued”. Some common symptoms of oxidative stress include allergies, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, dizziness, hypoglycemia, increased infections, muscle aches or weakness, joint pains, and poor mental function.
Foods rich in phytonutrients and vitamins are needed for cellular production of ATP, the energy unit. Cofactors derived from vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and vitamin B6 are needed to produce energy in mitochondria. In addition, glutathione is needed to help reduce the harmful byproducts, or oxidative stress, that result from mitochondrial energy production. Omega-3 fatty acids and carnitine are essential in regenerating mitochondrial membranes. Zinc, magnesium, and selenium also protect our bodies from oxidative stress. CoQ10, lipoic acid, N-acetylcarnitine, , N-acetylcysteine, vitamins A, C, and D, flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids have all shown to play a role in improved mitochondrial function. Furthermore, mercury has shown to be dangerous to mitochondrial function and toxic to our bodies.
Contributing to mitochondrial injury are charbroiled foods, processed foods, high sugar foods, excess alcohol intake, rancid fats, overeating, nutritional deficiencies, and exposure to heavy metals and petrochemicals.
And now how do you improve your energy function? The most important factor in regaining your energy function is DIET. Through personalized lab analysis and symptom review, Dr. Samara will be able to provide you with a personal plan to make the necessary lifestyle and environmental changes; receive high quality nutritional supplementation; advise you of the right botanical and herbal antioxidants; eliminate toxins; and correct your body’s imbalance so you can regain your vitality.