Friday, March 31, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

How do Mitochondria get sick?

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When the human body is exposed to radiation (even the sun), toxins, stress, unhealthy food, infection and extremes of temperature and physically stressful environments, it creates unstable free radicals, charged cells that travel through the body causing cellular damage. For example, oxidative stress causes oxygen which is usually a beneficial element in the body, to divide into two oxygen molecules, each with a charge. The oxidative stress makes O2 into two oxygen free radicals. The two free oxygen free radicals are harmful to the body, and the damage they cause is in the mitochondria. Because of this damage, the cell can’t efficiently make energy out of Oxygen and sugar. Oxidative stress is somewhat like putting a pillow over the mitochondria so the cell can’t breathe!

How do we get exposed to free radicals?

Sun, processed foods and toxins in the environment all expose us to free radicals. Inadequate supply of antioxidants, fat, and protein, lack of fiber in the diet, inactivity, drugs, smoking, lack of sleep all of these lead to damaged mitochondria.

Many common items in our diet increase free radicals: Processed flour, wheat, gluten, sugar, sweeteners, and trans-fats.

Source Of Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress
• Air pollution.
• Cigarette smoke.
• Alcohol intake.
• Toxins.
• High blood sugar levels
• Consuming large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids
• Radiation, including excessive sunbathing.
• Infections by bacteria, fungi or viruses.
• Excessive intake of iron, magnesium, copper, or zinc
• Too little oxygen in the body
• Too much oxygen in the body.
• Intense and prolonged exercise, which causes tissue damage.
• Excessive intake of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E
• Antioxidant deficiency

Prolonged oxidative stress (exposure to free radicals) leads to increased risk of negative health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. It is also thought to contribute to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia as well as the aging process.


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