BULLETIN 7 (2008)

July 15, 2008

Your Health Bulletin is information from scientific literature to make sense of the right choices for your health.  It is a reminder to consider periodic check-ups of your spine, joint mechanics and appropriate exercise.  Maintenance is better than repair!


Nutrition Action 2008, in the article, ‘Manipulating Mitochondria’, reports on researcher R. de Cabo at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, in Baltimore, Maryland, who comments, “Mitochondria are linked to almost every essential process in cells.”


There are 500 to 2000 per cell – 60% of muscles, 40% of heart.  They have their own DNA passed from mother to child, as opposed to cell DNA inherited from both parents.  As the power plants of our cells, they convert food into usable cell energy or electrons called ATP.

In accomplishing this conversion, they generate ‘free radicals’ which damage the mitochondria’s DNA and membranes and therefore may be the ultimate cause of aging.

Sarcopenia, muscle wasting with age, is considered one indication of unhealthy aging, and is due in part to damage to mitochondria.


How to protect and restore mitochondria:
1. Aerobic (endurance) exercise increases mitochondria by 40-50% in 6 weeks; we need
“huff & puff” exercise for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times per week.
2. Resistance exercise (weight-lifting, etc.) does not increase mitochondria in the young,
but does so in older, less active individuals.
3. Reduce calories by 25%. (Comment: By reducing calories you increase insulin sensi-
tivity, allowing the mitochondria to burn fuel better. Insulin resistance, which fore-
shadows cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormone problems, hormone dysfunction &
various cancers, is primarily due to too many carbohydrates like grains & sugar.
4. Increase carnitine/lipoic acid.  Dr. B. Ames, head of biochemistry at UCLA, first de-
monstrated that these compounds improve mitochondria. Supplements were developed,
but better than supplements is to eat food rich in these substances, such as red meat.
5. Increase quercetin intake – a flavenoid found in veggies & fruit.  Mark Davis, Director
of Psychoneuro Immunology of Exercise and Nutrition Laboratory at U of S.Carolina in
Columbia discovered when quercetin was given to mice for 7 days the number of mito-
chondria in the brain and muscle increased by 30%.


Measuring Mitochondria
Mitochondria transform food into usable energy (i.e. electrons); measuring the redox of urine can determine whether you are making enough energy and getting good distribution.  The ideal range is 20-24 redox units.  If you wish to measure your mitochondria function inquire in our office about urine/saliva testing (Handout #210).


As well, Bioimpedance Testing will determine whether you have adequate muscle mass, a reliable indicator of mitochondriacal activity and healthy aging.  For further information about this inquire in our office for Handout #271 and request testing.



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