All wellness springs from the function of one very important, but oft ignored part of your biology : mitochondria.
Mitochondria are described in the medical text books as organelles of a cell. I am an advocate for mitochondria to be rebranded as it’s own system : the energy system of the body.
Meet your mitochondria
Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell. Sometimes referred to as engines or batteries that produce power in your cells; the energy created by your mitochondria perform the various processes that contribute to all of life.
Mitochondria float freely throughout the cell. Some cells have several thousand mitochondria while others have none. Altogether your body has at least one thousand times more mitochondria than actual human cells in your body : that adds up to 10quintillion!
Your heart and brain have the most mitochondria. Muscle cells need a lot of energy so they have loads of mitochondria. Neurons (cells that transmit nerve impulses) don’t need as many.
If a cell feels it is not getting enough energy to survive, more mitochondria can be created. Sometimes a mitochondria can grow larger or combine with other mitochondria. It all depends on the needs of the cell.
Mitochondria require fuel
The common paradigm tells you we need fuel, in the form of food, to produce energy in your cells. Although mitochondria do use food, in the form of the electrons sequestered from food to produce energy, food is only one of the inputs your mitochondria use as fuel.
Mitochondria are designed to act like antennae, scanning your environment for easily collectable electrons to turn into energy. Along with food, environmental data collection includes light (photons), water (hydrogen densities) and magnetism (electromagnetic frequencies).
Three types of disease
Known human diseases may be categorised into three areas :
- Infectious diseases eg. Typhoid, tuberculosis, common cold
- Genetic diseases eg. Down syndrome , cystic fibrosis
- Mitochondrial diseases eg. chronic disease such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autoimmune, cancer, obesity
In the current medical model, infectious diseases are usually treated, and often cured with antibiotics. Before the advent of antibiotics in 1928, the most common therapy for infectious disease was sun exposure.
Genetic diseases are thought to be caused by faulty or altered gene patterns. Truly genetic diseases are rare, eg. Down Syndrome rates in Australia are 1:1100. Many genetic disorders result from gene changes that are present in essentially every cell in the body. As a result, these often affect many body systems, and most cannot be cured. However, approaches that benefit the wholebody may treat or manage some of the associated signs and symptoms.
Mitochondrial diseases are the most common (90+% of all disease in the modern western world) and are caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Heterplasmy is the name for what happens when mitochondria do not produce energy as they are supposed to.
Your evolutionary genome : mtDNA
Most modern medicine focuses on the first and most well known genome of the cell : the nuclear genome. You would be most familiar with this by explanation of the reason your eyes or skin are a certain colour, passed on from both parents. The nuclear genome has it’s own DNA and it’s affects are found in genetic diseases such as Down Syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis.
The second genome is mitochondrial, which contains completely different DNA to the nuclear genome. Mitochondrial DNA is passed on only from the mother, so it is very useful in tracking genetic history of species. It is programmed by environmental inputs which may include (but not excluded to) light, magnetism, temperature, dietary availability, social engagement, safety and other stressors.
MtDNA mutations can result in highly variable symptoms. Leading research in the field of mitochondrial disease, led by Doug Wallace at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the largest proportion of disease in the modern, developed world (often referred to as “diseases of affluence”) are mitochondrial diseases. Wallace also showed that the accumulation of mtDNA mutations in tissues correlates with aging and age-related diseases.
In other words, focusing on the DNA of the nuclear genome and genetic data overall, is not beneficial to solving chronic disease and physiological disorder. To understand and reverse chronic disease, we must focus on mitochondria.
Really, really important for everything you want to do, ever
Remember, mitochondria are the engines that run almost every cell in your body. Without them, problems occur. If you break the little powerplants/motors of your cells, you are destroying the function of the cell.
Cells make up your organs, and organs and cells together make up entire systems in your body re. digestive, reproductive, immune systems. Destroying your mitochondrial function destroys your physiological systems.
In other words, your body doesn’t work, and you will age faster, if your mitochondria are not performing to their optimal ability.
The workings of a mitochondria
Even though they’re tiny, mitochondria are shaped perfectly to maximize their productivity with a lengthy, folded surface area. They have two membranes. The outer membrane covers the organelle and contains it like a skin. The inner membrane folds over many times and creates layered structures called cristae. The fluid contained in the mitochondria is called the matrix.
The folding of the inner membrane increases the surface area inside the organelle. This is where proteins live to do all sorts of great processes in your body, pumped up by the molecular changes in the electron transport chain. Electrons rapidly jump down the chain of the folded inner membrane (when electrons move in currents we call that energy), pumping hydrogen into the space between the inner and outer membrane : intermembrane.
Each of the inner membrane folds are like stations that help process and create energy. The first two stations are programmed to take electrons donated from food, and are controlled by mtDNA. Depending whether the electrons have come from carbohydrates or fats, the chain will produce accordingly (NADH & FADH2).
The energy produced by the electron flow is used to move hydrogen protons into the mitochondrial intermembrane, pumped from the matrix. All the while, this process is providing energy to the proteins that perform the signalling jobs in your body (Electron Transport Chain video).
The third and fourth stations for processing are controlled by redox potential, which is the net negative charge in a cell ie. how many electrons are present. So the electrons from food are not enough to keep powering this transport chain. It’s the level of energy in the system that controls it at the protein level.
As electrons travel across the chain, they are releasing energy, so that by the time they reach the final point in mitochondrial travel, they have very little energy left. The lesser power they have left is used to oxygenate water in your cells.
This is why collecting food electrons is not the end of the story for your mitochondria. The hydrogen that’s left in your matrix, will eventually turn into water and it will require photons from light to produce the battery current (EZ) that will power your cells.
The fundamental aspect of all life : Proton Gradient
Meanwhile, when the electron transport chain has moved all of those hydrogen protons out of the matrix, they are floating around the intermembrane and want to return to where they came from – they’re basically home bodies and co-dependant all at once. The pathway is too tight to return through; this is called the Proton Gradient – the most fundamental aspect of all life on earth.
The only way the protons can find their way back to the mitochondrial matrix is via a protein in the christae (inner membrane folds) called ATP synthase, which current theory suggests is a teeny little spinning axle that welcomes the protons to flow back through and into the matrix, where the hydrogen can join tired, worn down oxygens (left over from the electron transport chain) to form water.
Mitochondria produces water inside your cells
At the end of the electron transport chain, sits oxygen. Oxygen has a big crush on electrons, so it pulls them toward it. Your mitochondria are match makers for electrons and oxygen, and they feed off their marriage by soaking up the love juju (energy) while they’re getting jiggy together.
When electrons and oxygen get together they pull in a few extra hydrogen atoms to make… H2O
The mitochondria are the only places in the cell where oxygen is reduced and eventually broken down into water.
ATP : the currency of your mitochondria
When protons flow it’s called protonicity. When electrons flow it’s called electricity, which is what’s happening in the electron transport chain (Yes! Your body is electric).
Protonicity causes the ATPase to spin and bind with other molecules to form ATP.
Adenosine Triphosate is often referred to as the currency of energy for our cells. Simply explained, ATP has the job of providing energy to the cells, because it stores and releases energy from the mitochondria, in the form of electrons. When ATP releases electrons, the mitochondria can create water.
Gerald Pollack’s work has shown that when water is charged by light, the water itself becomes a battery. Water can absorb heat and light (this particular structured water, as shown by Pollack can be heated to 700 degrees in it’s solid form – yes EZ water is a crystalline solid) and when the photons of light activate water, the water does it’s work.
If your mitochondria are not well supported, they can produce holes and literally leak protons and electrons. If protons and electrons fall through the gaps you can’t capture energy properly, you won’t create ATP and your EZ water battery cannot be charged.
A leaky mitochondrial system is inefficient and will result in mitochondrial disease.
Inflammation is caused by leaky mitochondria. Leaky mitochondria affect your immune system and all other systems in your body.
Your mitochondria are designed to adapt to your environment
High heterplasmy (dysfunctional mitochondria) means your mitochondria has a high rate of mutations that are causing leaking, and overall stopping your body from removing the unnecessary molecular garbage (inflammation) in cell metabolism.
An inefficient mitochondria (not producing clean energy) produces large amounts of free radicals (positive ions), which, if left unchecked will produce high rates of systemic inflammation. Inflammation is a known cause of many chronic diseases (ie. mitochondrial dysfunction).
Free radical production is actually designed to occur naturally in small amounts as a signal to your mitochondria to adapt to a changing environment (hormesis). Your mitochondria are built to adapt to changing environmental factors, to look for better options when things get tough.
Proteins in your mitochondria have the job of uncoupling, ie. poking holes in the membrane to make your mitochondria believe it’s losing energy. When your mitochondria believe they’re losing energy, it will produce more energy; uncoupling is designed to make your mitochondria more efficient WHEN PROVIDED WITH APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULATION.
- To run from a tiger you use energy
- To stay warm in the Arctic you use energy
- To metabolise your favourite meal you use energy
- To make love you use energy
- To learn new information you use energy
- You need functional mitochondria for everything
Mitochondrial mutation is totally normal and natural BUT our modern environment does not provide the appropriate stimulation for your mitochondria to adapt efficiently to changes.
Your environment is destroying your ability to produce energy. When your mitochondria leaks for long enough, we call that disease.
The Wellness Prescription for leaky mitochondria
The hormone melatonin repairs and re-coordinates the mtDNA that make the proteins on your inner mitochondrial membrane (like ATPase).
Melatonin is most prevalent when you are asleep. This is why sleep is the absolute most important cog in your Wellness protocol and, light is the single most important and powerful remedy.
If melatonin is too low it can’t penetrate the mitochondrial membranes for repair. Mitochondrial repair happens when you sleep, most importantly between 1am and 5am. This is the time in the human circadian cycle where autophagy takes place.
Melatonin is programmed in the first hours of your day, and it is activated in an absence of light. Evolutionarily, that was at night, but in modern society we have created ways to avoid the signalling our physiology is searching for.
Artificial light and too much time spent inside buildings is destroying your mitochondria, via interrupted melatonin cycles. Additional problematic inputs include radio frequencies, wireless and cell signals, processed foods, synthetic chemicals and pesticides and being removed from healthy soil.
Autophagy : your body’s self healing mechanism
Because your body is amazing, it is programmed with many ways to get around disease-inducing situations. Hormesis and the mitochondrial adaptation through mutation are designed to help you survive through small and big changes. At night your body engages it’s deep healing capability with autophagy.
Autophagy is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It allows for orderly, programmed cell death and recycling of cellular components that may be reusable.
In other words, where your cells are really struggling, or simply going through the regular process of life and aging, your body has a built in way to replenish the system.
But autophagy needs sleep to work (there is evidence that fasting prolongs autophagy, but you still need sleep to start the process), and sleep needs melatonin to work, and melatonin needs light and dark at the right time of day to work, and appropriate light is needed to charge the water battery produced by mitochondria, and your mitochondria need electrons to work, and electrons are inputs from your environment…
The moral to your Wellness
Chronic disease is entirely caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, and every health practitioner who continues to ignore the workings of mitochondria are doing their patients a disservice. If you’re seeing a practitioner who does not put mitochondria at the forefront of their protocol, you are wasting your time and money.
The Self Crafted Wellness Protocol is built on five elements : Nutrition, Light, Flow, Movement and Rhythm. These are the branches of your environment and how you relate to the world around you.
Every step in the Self Crafted Wellness Journal is designed to cue your mitochondria to better function. On a broader scale, changing your lifestyle to support your mitochondria will give you the best chance at reversing chronic disease.
A few other things you might like to know about mitochondria
Mitochondria are ground zero for fighting inflammation, supporting your immune system, controlling your weight and balancing nutritional concerns.
Here’s a few more tidbits to think about :
Mitochondria and your Immune System
Immune responses are costly in the form of ATP. All balancing of your immune cells use ATP as currency. Having to fight off real or perceived attackers will drain the battery of your mitochondria.
Autoimmune disease is directly related to mitochondrial dysfunction. If you want to reverse autoimmune disease, you must address your environment. Light is the remedy.
Leptin, negative ions and your mitochondria
Leptin is a hormone that was discovered in the 1990s and is often referred to as the satiety control in your body. Think of leptin as the police, always onguard to ensure you stay safe by eating only what you need. It has an important role in relation to your mitochondria.
When free radicals (oxidation) form in your body based on your anti-evolutionary, modern lifestyle (mismatched circadian rhythm), negative ions are the currency of a cure.
Negative ions are simply electrons collected from your environment. Electrons are the currency your body uses to pay for energy; whether that energy is clean burning (healthy mitochondria) or leaking (dysfunctional mitochondria).
Food is one way to collect negative ions. Antioxidants, as the name suggests are a form of negative ions.
Walking on the beach barefoot or sitting by a bubbling stream in the mountains are examples of electron rich environments. But you don’t have to disappear off the beaten track to find electrons.
The earth will give them to you at anytime in the form of the Schumann resonance. To heal inflammation faster, go barefoot on soil or grass. The more mineral rich the soil, the more electrons you will collect, and the quicker you will reverse the effects of free radicals, via your mitochondria.
But how does your body know where to spend the negative ions electron currency? Leptin is the answer.
Leptin is the electron counting hormone. It reads electrons in your food (we call that being full, but your mitochondria call it electron accounting) and ensures they reach the mitochondria who need them most. If you have built up free radicals, leptin will seek out electrons to bust up inflammation. It’s incredibly efficient at electron collection until…
Until there are too many mismatches. Once those mitochondria start leaking all over the place, your body wants the fastest method for inflammation busting. That method appears to be the use of carbohydrates (sugars collected from food) and is useful in one-off episodes eg. injury or appropriate immune response.
Attacking inflammation is costly to mitochondria and they have a built in turbo attack in the form of drawing on carbohydrates to fast clean. This is supposed to be a quick system, used to react immediately to a stressor, so that you can return to stasis (health) and go back to living with your functional mitochondria, producing loads of energy and moving around the planet with your battery fully charged.
The problem is that chronic, systemic inflammation doesn’t go away so quickly, because the inputs that caused the mitochondrial dysfunction in the first place haven’t gone away.
Carbohydrates, although efficient as a turbo blast in one off incidents, are not the most effective carrier of electrons long term. If you keep piling in the carbs (sugars) long term, your leptin accountant/police gets tired.
Leptin resistance is the term used to describe what happens when food is coming into the system, but leptin doesn’t notice. A faulty leptin system is a result of long term mismatches and mitochondrial dysfunction.
You become addicted to sugar because your body continues to attempt to heal your mitochondrial dysfunction with the quick method that worked before. But increased carbs (sugar) without the satiety police in charge to decide when you’ve had enough, cause havoc to your biology.
This is why you become addicted to sugar. This is why you get fat. This is why your immune system attacks itself. This is also related to why insulin fails to respond and results in diabetes.
Like the bar tender who cuts off drinks when you’ve had enough, leptin will help you manage food intake. But by 6am when the ugly lights have been turned on and the bar staff are still trying to get rid of the drunks, that bar tender just doesn’t care anymore. At the last hour, leptin will bring in donuts and cookies to appeal to the drunks. When that doesn’t work, he’ll go curl up in the corner and have a snooze.
If you have chronic disease (mitochondrial dysfunction), your leptin is having a snooze. Give your mitochondrial high quality electrons in the form of negative ions from light, water and magnetism so leptin can wake up again. Choice nutrition (electron donating resources) include nutrient dense foods and anything from the sea. Fatty acid content is a key to keeping your leptin police responsive.
If your mitochondria is leaky, and your leptin has gone on strike, you need all the help you can get. Chronic, systemic inflammation is the result of mitochondria leaking for too long. When you repeat the same factors everyday that made your mitochondria leaky in the first place – mismatched circadian rhythm and anti-evolutionary environment – you will not reverse disease.
Hopefully by now you understand why light (photons), water (hydrogen density and the EZ) and magnetism (electrons) are important to your wellness. Although researchers are currently working on drugs to affect mitochondrial function, the blueprint has already been laid out by our ancestors (all of life before us).
- Sunlight in the morning.
- Good nutrition in the form of fats and DHA.
- Local food.
- Structured Water.
- Turn off the wifi.
- Move your body across dirt and grass.
- Avoid light at night.
- Sleep well.
- And if in doubt, go outside.
Mitochondria and your Autonomic Nervous System
Your Vagus Nerve connects your gut to your brain to assist in the circadian coupling of processes driven by the light cycles in your environment.
Although neurons (nerves) don’t have high density of mitochondria, nerves do use water for signalling. As you learned above, mitochondria produces electron rich water inside your cells, with the help of light. This water is shunted around your body, and used by your neuronal systems to transfer information at the speed of.. light.
A healthy autonomic nervous system requires functional mitochondria. Research is implicating the vagus nerve as a integral player in many mental health issues, learning difficulties, trauma, brain development, speech and hearing concerns and sleep problems.
Drugs will not solve everything. Light is the remedy.
Mitochondria and Bacteria
Mitochondria are believed to have originated from bacteria millions of years ago during evolution of life. Plants, animals and humans have mitochondria.
The Endosymbiotic Theory states that mitochondria are descended from specialized bacteria (probably purple nonsulfur bacteria) that somehow invaded cells and started to behave as our sources of energy.
Bacteria are known to produce light even in the deep dark regions of our gut, hidden away form all light sources. In other words, bacteria provide light inside you.
Because they are likely from bacteria, mitochondria are probably susceptible to the things that damage bacteria – antibiotics and pesticides ie. glyphosate.
In other words, you can only poison your mitochondria so much before they start leaking energy and stop helping you survive.
Leaky Gut and Mitochondria
The cells in your gut are the fastest to regenerate ie. The life span of intestinal epithelial cells is 3–5 days, bone cells live for 10 years.
Often people notice gut and skin issues well before full fledged chronic disease is diagnosed. Gut problems ie. high heterplasmy in gut cells are the mitochondria crying for help.
Food is not enough. If you want to reverse leaky gut, you must address your environment. Light is the remedy.
Calcium and Magnesium
Mitochondria are also involved in controlling the concentration of calcium (Ca2+) ions within the cell. This is important to understand if you have magnesium deficienices, because calcium and magnesium work together. Where one has issues, the other will surely follow.
Mitochondria and muscles
If you want a healthy strong body, focus on your mitochondria before you worry about lifting weights.Although research has found exercise and lifting do increase the size of your muscle (myocytes are the cells in your muscles) and your heart (cardiomyocytes) we know that cells need mitochondria.
More cells require more mitochondria. Your body will produce more mitochondria when you provide it with electron rich stimulation.
Protein shakes are not enough. Light is the remedy.
Breathwork and your mitochondria
Increased oxygen intake can send a signal to your mitochondrial system that it needs to produce more energy. Remember, when your mitochondria need more energy they blow out holes to force rapid increases in the electron transport chain. Anyone with mitochondrial dysfunction will benefit from taking any new oxygenation protocol (including breathwork and oxygen chamber) slowly. A blowout may replicate a ‘flare’ of autoimmune issues, and set you back on your way to Wellness.
Fads and gimics are not the answer. Light is the remedy.
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The article How to reverse any chronic disease was published by Hollie, for Braidwood Holistic Therapies.
Feel free to share this article with your friends, by using the url : https://braidwoodholistic.com.au/mitochondria/.
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