How to support Mitochondrial health

How to support Mitochondrial health

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The mitochondria is often referred to as the powerhouse in each one of the trillions of cells found inside of our bodies.

The mitochondria are responsible for producing energy (in the form of Adenosine triphosphate or ATP) for optimal cell, and therefore tissue, performance. Therefore, it is clear that mitochondrial health is critical in ensuring and maintaining optimal energy levels and health.

There are two easy ways you can support your mitochondrial health naturally:

  1. Exercise and movement

 We are all aware that there are many benefits to being active and maintaining a regular exercise routine for our overall health and wellbeing. Regular exercise also supports our Mitochondria to function at an optimal level too. Our muscles have the highest mitochondria count of any tissue in the body, with research showing that higher levels of mitochondria in the muscles could be linked to better health[1].

A new study found that exercise in particular high-intensity interval training in aerobic exercises such as riding a bike and brisk walking can help the cells to make more proteins for their mitochondria that will be used in different cellular processes including the production of ATP[2].

So when we train and move our bodies in particularly high-intensity intervals, we are increasing the mitochondrial content per gram of tissue improving its ability to produce energy[3].

  1. Fuel your mitochondria

Our mitochondria requires the right fuel to carry out its core purpose and functions.

Ubiquinol, the active form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a fat-soluble antioxidant found naturally in the body that supports cellular energy production by assisting the synthesis of ATP in the mitochondria. Optimal levels of Ubiquinol have been shown to support optimal mitochondrial health[4].

Ubiquinol can also be found in certain foods like oily fish, organ meats and whole grains. However, it is difficult to achieve the daily recommended dose without consuming excessive amounts of these foods as you would need to consume more than 14kg of sardines or 60 avocados, for example, to reach 100 mg of Ubiquinol. 

Taking Ubiquinol in a supplement form can ensure you easily achieve the recommended daily dose. Seek advice from a healthcare practitioner to determine if supplementation is right for you. Always read the label.  

[1] Menshikova, E., Ritov, V., Fairfull, L., Ferrell, R., Kelley, D. and Goodpaster, B., 2006. Effects of Exercise on Mitochondrial Content and Function in Aging Human Skeletal Muscle. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, [online] 61(6), pp.534-540. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1540458/ [Accessed 4 August 2021].

[2] Cell Press. 2017. How exercise — interval training in particular — helps your mitochondria stave off old age.. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170307155214.htm [Accessed 4 August 2021].

[3] Jesus R. Huertas, Rafael A. Casuso, Pablo Hernansanz Agustín, Sara Cogliati, “Stay Fit, Stay Young: Mitochondria in Movement: The Role of Exercise in the New Mitochondrial Paradigm”, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2019, Article ID 7058350, 18 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7058350

[4] Neergheen, V., Chalasani, A., Wainwright, L., Yubero, D., Montero, R., Artuch, R. and Hargreaves, I., 2017. Coenzyme Q10 in the Treatment of Mitochondrial Disease. Journal of Inborn Errors of Metabolism and Screening, 5, p.232640981770777.

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