Mitochondria Is The Next Microbiome

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By Yulli Agnes, MD, MBiomed (AAM)  

When it comes to health and diseases prevention, the importance of mitochondrial health and function simply cannot be overstated. Your mitochondria are just as important to your health as your microbiome. Mitochondria is critical to delaying the effects of aging, age-associated declines in metabolism (e.g., increased body fat and decreased lean muscle tissue) and cancers. Here's some practical strategies to prevent dysfunction and optimize their function.

1) Reduce high carb & processed food intake.

Highly processed food, excessive amounts of added sugars, net carbs and unhealthy fats diets prevent your body from efficiently burning fat as its primary fuel. And when the body burns carbs as main source of fuel, it produce more free radicals which will cause mitochondrial damage.

2) Increase your healthy fats intake.

Efficient fat-burning produces less free radicals which will minimizes mitochondrial damage. Ketogenic diet will shift your body into a fat burning metabolism. While ketogenic diet is not suitable for everyone, you could do a standard ketogenic diet, modified ketogenic diet or carb-cycling diet.

3) Consume colorful vegetables

They have various phytonutrients, minerals & antioxidants that will nourish your mitochondria.

4) Time Restricted Eating

One of the best strategies for reducing mitochondrial free radical production is to limit the amount of fuel you feed your body. This is one of the reasons why intermittent fasting works, as it limits the window that you are eating and automatically reduces your calories. It is particularly effective if you avoid eating several hours before going to sleep as that is your most metabolically lowered state; adding excess fuel at this time will generate excessive free radicals.

5) Exercise

Exercise also promotes mitochondrial health, as it forces your mitochondria to work harder. The key that opens the door to exercise’s benefits for mitochondrial health is to make sure the intensity is high enough. When you do HIIT & strength training, your body will respond by creating more mitochondria to keep up with the heightened energy requirement.

6) Sleeping

The waste-removal system of the brain, glymphatic system, only works when you're sleeping. If you're not sleeping properly, you'll build up more toxins, which will inhibit mitochondrial function.

7) Supplementation

Some nutritional compound are actually effective in improving mitochondrial function & induce your body to produce more mitochondria such as CoQ10, PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) and D-ribose. Other beneficial compound that improve your cellular function are alpha lipoic acid, omega 3, L-carnitine, magnesium, shilajit and B-vitamins.

While there is no definite measurement of mitochondrial function yet, everyone can benefit from taking care of their mitochondria.  Just like microbiome, mitochondria are the key areas to improve organs function & body systems. When their function decreases, it leads to all sorts of symptoms, and down the road, to various diseases.