I just spent a weekend day at a seminar on mitochondria. Mito… what? You may remember vaguely from biology, those little oval energy generators inside cells. So what do they have to do with the skin and the environment, and why bother to read about them?
The answer is that are the key producers of the energy currency of the cells, known as ATP, and they have a number of roles in signaling and affecting the fate and function of other organs of the body. Good energy, control of obesity, avoidance of diabetes, all require good mitochondrial function.
Mitochondrial function decreases with aging, and DNA mutations, that we have limited control over. But we do have some control over our exposure to persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and other environmental toxins and medications that harm the mitochondria and reduce their function. Toxins include the ever-present BPA, and plasticizers in vinyl. Caloric excess, alcohol, and fructose are also toxins to mitochondria. Drugs that poison mitochondria include aspirin, acetaminophen, Metformin, and Statins.
We can increase the activity of mitochondria by fasting, moderate exercise, cold exposure. Green tea, tumeric, resveratrol from grapes, and quercetin from capers, onions and apples are all natural food substances that support the mitochondria. Magnesium, Co Q 10, and alpha lipoic acid are supplements that help mitochondria.
So if you are interested in maximizing your energy, slowing aging, losing weight, and preventing or controlling diabetes, some do’s and don’ts are listed here as a starting point. You have an opportunity to take control of the chief energy source in your cells.