Doctors Gear and Weyrich discuss Mitochondria, Free radicals, Antioxidants, and IgG antibodies on YouTube.

Mitochondria

The Mitochondria are an important part of every cell in our body. Their functions include:

From Go to 5 Roles Mitochondria Play in Cells5 Roles Mitochondria Play in Cells

Many variables affect your mitochondrial function - genetics, specific nutrients, and enzymes as well as spinal health to name a few. Some of the nutrients needed by mitochondria include:

Oxidative Stress

Oxidation is a normal process in our body. It is balanced by a process called reduction. Both are good and necessary for the biochemical processes of life. Like the song by Frank Sinatra Go to Love and Marriage,Love and Marriage, "you can't have one without the other." Mitochondria cannot do their job without properly coordinated oxidation and reduction.

Problems arise when mitochondria lack all of the essential nutrients for proper function of their oxidative and reductive ("redox") functions, or when external environmental factors such as pollution, alcohol, and other chemicals found in our daily life overload the system.

Uncontrolled oxidation can decimate mitochondria, which in turn hampers the function of our brain, heart, liver, kidneys, nerves, and other organs. This can lead to accelerated aging, as well as conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and lowers your overall quality of life.

So it makes sense that the first thing you'd want to do is calm any excessive inflammation caused by oxidative stress. But how?

First and foremost, avoidance of excessive oxidative stress is paramount. It is always easier to prevent a problem than to fix it. In order to deal with unavoidable oxidative stress, proper nutrition is necessary, including all the nutrition that mitochondria need, which we have already discussed. A variety of antioxidants in the diet are part of proper nutrition to address oxidative stress.

There are many kinds of anti-oxidants. A colorful diet - full of leafy veggies, roots, fruits, herbs, and spices will load you up with many kinds of antioxidants that act as armor for your cells.

Not only that, but antioxidants and selenium support mitochondrial "biogenesis" - the process of creating new mitochondria. The more mitochondria you have, the less 'overworked' they will be, and the more you can support your body's optimal level of energy production.

Proper nutrition helps to restore your energy levels to where they should be and also calms inflammation.

Free Radicals

Uncontrolled oxidation can produce free radicals, which are harmful. Free radicals are molecules in the body that have lost an electron (been oxidized), and tend to "steal" an electron from some other molecule in the body. This theft produces a new free radical, and a chain reaction of damage ensues.

Antioxidants are your first defense against free radicals - they freely share their electrons and stop the degenerative chain reaction of free radicals.

A visual example of free radical damage is an apple cut into halves - one half exposed to the air, the other half covered with lemon juice. The half with no lemon juice turns brown, indicating free radical damage. However, the apple with lemon juice (lemons are a source of antioxidants) does not turn brown. This shows how antioxidants can protect the exposed surface of the apple from excessive free radical damage.

Our bodies naturally generate some antioxidants, and certain foods also contain antioxidants. However, new research shows additional sources of antioxidants may provide added protection against a growing onslaught of free radical invaders. Each day we are exposed to free radicals-unstable molecules that steal or "scavenge" electrons from other molecules. Many of the physical effects we call aging are result of free radical damage. And no matter how healthy you try to be, you receive free radical damage every single day.

Exposure to free radical activity is a natural part of life, but in today's highly stressful and hectic world, it is possible to become overexposed and experience greater consequences of free radical damage. Environmental pollution, unbalanced diet, preservatives and additives in food, excessive body fat due to inactivity, mental stress, and even breathing create free radicals in your body. When left unchecked, free radical damage to your cells accumulating can lead to serious health concerns later in life. In fact, free radical damage can cause premature aging and is a large factor in the deterioration of health over time.

To protect yourself from free radicals at any age, you should develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can limit your exposure to free radicals by doing the following:

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are an important category of fat-soluble antioxidants. They are primarily responsible for the reds, oranges, and yellows that we see in fruits and vegetables. They are best absorbed when eaten in conjunction with fats (e.g. salad dressings containing olive oil).

Our bodies require fat-soluble anti-oxidants such as carotenoids, but also require water-soluble anti-oxidants such as vitamin C. Another kind of antioxidants that are also necessary are called "amphoteric" (from Greek "both") antioxidants and these are unique in that have one end that is soluble in fat and the other end soluble in fat, such as alpha-lipoic acid.

In our bodies non-carotenoid antioxidants rely in part on carotenoids to defend and replenish themselves, so that they can continue their cell-protective work. Therefore, a high level of carotenoids in the antioxidant defense network suggests that there are also high levels of other antioxidants.

Research suggests the skin carotenoid levels measured with the Pharmanex BioPhotonic scanner (S3) correlate with, and therefore are a surrogate marker for the body's overall antioxidant defense system. We Doctors at Payson Health and Wellness Center utilize the S3 machine to determine your carotenoid antioxidant status, which then suggests whether your diet and supplements are adequately protecting you from oxidative damage.

There are 5 factors that influence the level of the Carotenoids in your body:

Dr. Gear says: "If you can't measure it, it is not science."

Dr. Weyrich says: "If you can't measure it, you cannot control it."

IgG antibodies

IgG antibodies are made by the body to protect us from foreign proteins like viruses and bacteria. These are a very important part of the immune system when everything in the body is working properly. But sometimes our immune system gets confused, and makes antibodies to things that should be recognized by the body as being harmless, such as "good, healthy foods." When the body makes these kinds of improper IgG antibodies, we develop inflammation, which leads to swelling, redness, pain, and heat. We easily recognize inflammation when it is on our skin. But if it is inside our body, our only clue may be malaise or joint pain. Many people (including many allopathic doctors like MDs, DOs, and DNPs) confuse IgG antibodies with another kind of antibody made by the body, called IgE. When the body has an IgE reaction, the results are often very dramatic, such as your airway swells up and you suffocate.

IgE reactions are obvious and often life threatening. IgG reactions are subtle, slow, and only make you feel miserable.

IgE sensitivities are usually tested by doing a "skin scratch" test. IgG sensitivities are usually tested by drawing a few drops of blood and sending it to a lab for analysis.

At Payson Health and Wellness Center, we can test for 154 different IgG sensitivities that each individual might have. Then you have to avoid the problem foods. Everybody is different, so the healthy foods for each person are different - there is no one-size fits all diet plan.

Patients often remark after getting an IgG test and avoiding their unique problem foods, "I didn't know how bad I felt until I avoided the foods I was sensitive to. I feel like a new person now."