Modern medical research is showing that chronic disease is significantly associated with the loss of normal function of the billions of mitochondria within our cells. Mitochondria are the tiny organelles (mini-cells within our cells) that generate all of our body heat and the ATP molecules (adenosine tri-phosphate) that power virtually all of the energy-requiring processes in our bodies. Mitochondria have been coined the powerhouses of the cell.
Evidence indicates that mitochondrial are highly susceptible to malfunction when confronted with a wide variety of environmental toxins including stealth infection. The mitochondrial cell danger response is an ancient mechanism whereby mitochondria convert to “safe mode” or partial shutdown in response to toxic stress. When this happens they can no longer metabolize effectively nutrient foods such as sugars, fats, and proteins to efficiently generate ATP in a process known as the Kreb’s cycle and electron transport system. This can lead to severe fatigue, reduction of many vital body processes and the inability to burn fat.
Scientific research is suggesting that mitochondrial malfunction may recover once the stresses and toxins triggering the mitochondrial cell danger response are reduced or eliminated. In addition replenishment of a number of critical mitochondrial nutrients including Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, NAD, PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), and Alpha Lipoic acid may help to reestablish normal mitochondrial function.
At Texas Integrative Medicine we have a special interest in understanding mitochondrial disorders and the role that they play in initiating and maintaining chronic illness. We employ a variety of diagnostic tests to evaluate mitochondrial health and function. We utilize a number of tools designed to reduce the stresses and toxins that affect the mitochondria. We also utilize a variety of natural nutrients that have been shown in scientific studies to enhance mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.