Could mitochondria be the key to sticking to your New Year’s health resolution
The beginning of the year is an exciting time filled with new goals and it is the perfect time to hit the ‘refresh’ button on our lives. These goals often focus on improving physical health and fitness and research has found that healthy mitochondrial function plays a critical role in ensuring one has optimal health.
A number of factors influence the functioning of the mitochondria including lifestyle and diet, hence the importance of incorporating a variety of healthy diet and lifestyle habits, including the use of supplementation under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner.
As a new year begins, it might be time to check in with yourself and re-evaluate some of your lifestyle and diet choices.
The role of mitochondria
Mitochondria are complex cellular organelles that support the metabolic process in the body and can be found in almost every cell in the body. The primary function of the mitochondria is to supply cellular energy by producing ATP, an organic compound that gives energy to drive many processes in living cells such as muscle contractions, circulation of blood, and various body movements[i].
The mitochondria must function constantly as it is estimated that a human body requires 10 billion ATP per day to function at full capacity[ii]. Ubiquinol is a critical cofactor in the generation of ATP in the mitochondria. It is naturally present in the body, however, it declines with age and other health factors such as genetic mutations, chronic diseases, and vitamin deficiencies[iii], so supplementation is often required to ensure it continues to play an active role in the body.
What’s draining our energy?
Excess of nutrient supply can overwhelm the mitochondrial respiratory chain, leading to an increase in the production of ROS, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction[iv]. Although tempting, it is advised to maintain a balance diet and avoid overindulging in certain food groups and alcohol as this can cause stress to the body.
Getting the right fuel
The mitochondria rely highly on the availability of essential nutrients including Ubiquinol to generate high-energy molecules like ATP. Therefore, diet interventions and targeted supplementation may support the optimal production of ATP production[v]. Besides playing a fundamental role in supporting mitochondrial function, ubiquinol is also proven to act against oxidative stress associated with chronic diseases and support heart health[vi].