Energy. Where does it come from? What role does it play in the human body?
Let me tell you, it has everything to do with the human body. The crazy thing about the energy producers in the human body is that they are not even human! The best that we know is the energy producers, mitochondria, are actually a bacteria. Yes, I said it correctly, a bacteria that somehow got engulfed in a cell and survived. Not only did it survived, mitochondria may be a huge reason why humans exist today. We call this a symbiotic relationship.
The most well know symbiotic relationship are probiotics. They are also bacteria that live in our gut that without, we would not survive. Really crazy to think of a bunch of bacteria living in and on us are the reason that we are alive. These mitochondria are the energy plants of our bodies. They produce the energy that we use every day. Energy to walk and breath, energy to digest food and think. They are responsible for the great citric acid cycle, or the Krebs cycle, which the end result is ATP or energy.
So what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that as we age we have less energy. When we run out of energy, we die. There are a lot of reasons that we run out of energy. Prescription medication, ie. the statin drugs for cholesterol, deplete part of this energy producing steps. Stress can cause a shortage of energy. Illness creates an environment of depleted energy. This is why you are tired when you are sick. Your body is using all of its energy to fight the illness and we get depleted. The standard American diet, which is full of pro-inflammatory foods zaps our energy. Environmental toxins zap our energy. There are a lot of disease states that are associated with mitochondria as well.
Parkinsons disease is the main one that comes to mind first. It is almost solely a disease if mitochondrial malfunction. Autism is also associated with an energy problem. Heart failure and cardiovascular disease is also a mitochondrial problem. It is really weird to think that a bacteria, living within our body, is responsible for so much.
In the anti-aging world
Cellular energy is a delicate balance. The mitochondria produce just enough energy to take care of the normal stress burden that our body has on any given day. It is like a yin and yang. The energy out should equal the oxidative stress that our body endures in any given day. When we introduce outside factors, like the ones I mentioned before, there is a net loss of energy for that day. I liken it to your cell phone. If you do not charge it completely every day, eventually it will die. If we continue to run our engines at a loss, the eventuality is to run out of energy.
Look at the following chart that shows the cycle of mitochondrial decline:
The good news is that 4 of the 5 factors can be helped. We all need to work on stress and nutrition. Sedative lifestyles and environmental toxins can be changed. Prescriptions medication that can cause nutrient depletions can be replaced. The time is now to change our lifestyle to slow the aging process and increase energy levels.
There is a very interesting study by Tory M Hagen et al, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Linus Pauling Institute that showed that feeding Acetyl-l-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves metabolic function and decreases oxidative stress. This is hugely important when trying to slow the aging process.
The “Old” rat that was treated with these products actually reversed age-related decline in their mitochondria. You remember what I said. When we run out of energy, we die. Just think if we could hedge our bet and increase the lifespan of out mitochondria. Not only that, but through supplementation, we could improve the function on a daily basis. We need to take baby steps every day to slow the aging process. I guess it is never too late to start, but it will be much more effective if we start when we are young.
This is what I want everyone to think about. We have a finite amount of energy. When we waste energy on stressors like environmental toxins, medication side effect, pro-inflammatory diets, etc. we are depleting our stores of energy. The goal in the anti-aging world is a net zero in total energy. We should wake every day refreshed and full of energy.
4 simple steps to increase energy
- The first step is dietary changes. Refer back to my cardiovascular blog and look at some diet options.
- We need exercise almost every day… Don’t get too crazy and join cross fit and start deadlifting 1000 pounds or start running marathons tomorrow. A simple 45 minute walk 5 times per week elevating your heart rate a bit will do.
- Stress relief. This is a tough one. We are so stressed that we are killing ourselves. It disrupts sleep and decreases our ability to fight infection. Refer to my Youtube video on stress for some ideas or contact us for some ideas.
- Minimize exposure to toxins. Refer to my blog on Anxiety and foods… There are good tips on which foods should be organic… Refrain from using harmful substances as household cleansers and detergents.
With these easy steps, we can be on our way to a healthier lifestyle. I have done research on a lot of supplements and I have found a multi-vitamin that is head and shoulders above the rest for increased energy. It is called
Mitocore, by Ortho Molecular. Some of my patients even refer to it as “Crack”. Most take 4 daily but I have some that take 2. If I have a really busy day, I usually take 4 in the morning. It is a vegan, food based multi that has all the ingredients that boost those little mitochondria. There are some vitamins that you do not feel any different when you take them. Not this one, you have a truly profound increase in energy when you take it.
Another great product is a powder packet that you can put in your water bottle on the way to the gym. It is called ATP Ignite, by Xymogen. This is not a multi-vitamin. It is marketed for 4 to 6 hours of clean energy. You can use it in place of a 5-hour energy. It does have a caffeine component, yet should not make you shaky like coffee.
Contact us for a consultation!
Mitocore Review By Dr. Kent Lambrecht