Frank Sinatra sings "Love and Marriage" (YouTube)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Omega-3 Fatty acids
Omega-6 Fatty acids
The Mitochondria are an important part of every cell in our body. Their functions include:
- Energy production: an important purpose of mitochondria is to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP),
which is the "gas" that fuels our bodies. Without ATP, we feel drained and useless.
- Regulation of stem cells (that help regenerate damaged tissues in our body).
- Participation in "programmed cell death" of damaged cells (apoptosis) that clears out cells that are infected
- Regulation of innate immunity to viruses.
- Regulation of calcium homeostasis necessary for heart function.
- Contain many different cytochrome P450 enzymes that are important to the body's (Phase 1) detoxification process.
From 5 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:
- Vitamin C and certain B vitamins (B2, B2, B5) - These water-soluble vitamins should be consumed every day,
because they are rapidly peed out of the body.
- Selenium, Zinc, and Iron - These essential nutrients are toxic if too much is taken.
The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts.
Talk to a health care provider
that is knowledgeable about nutrition (e.g. Dr. Weyrich) to make sure you are getting enough but not too much
of these nutrients.
- Carnitine - and the name suggests, the main source of this nutrient is meat (carne in Spanish and Latin).
This nutrient is necessary for the mitochondria to burn fat.
- Ribose - this is a special sugar needed to make ATP.
- CoQ10 - This is normally made in the body, but people taking statin drugs to reduce cholesterol also reduce
the amount of CoQ10 made in the body, thus increasing the need to supplement.
- Magnesium - Most people are deficient in Magnesium both because of poor diet, as well as the fact that our soil
has been over farmed and depleted of minerals like Magnesium.
- Alpha lipoic acid - this is a special antioxidant that has one end that is soluble in water, and the other end
that is soluble in fats.
Alpha lipoic acid is found in some veggies and roots, but also in organ meats like liver.
- Healthy fats (omega-3, olive, avocado, coconut) - But avoid excess Omega-6.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
- Avoid pollution and other toxins.
- Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Limit your exposure to the sun to healthy levels to make vitamin D, and use sunblock to reduce excessive exposure.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Consume at least 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, which include a variety of colors:
red, yellow, orange, purple, blue and green. Deeper colors typically indicate higher antioxidant content.
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
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:
- Your diet. Typically, people who have more than 5 servings of deeply colored fruits and vegetables have higher
S3 Carotenoid scores.
- Your supplementation. Typically, people who consume well formulated nutritional supplements containing
phytonutrient (plant) antioxidants, such as green powdered drinks have higher S3 Carotenoid scores.
- Your body fat. People who have a high percentage of body fat typically have lower scores because carotenoids
are fat soluble, and the more fat there is, the more the carotenoids are distributed into fat other than in
- Your lifestyle. High levels of oxidative stress and exposure to free radicals can decrease your antioxidant levels. Tobacco smoke, stress, pollution, and toxins are common sources of free radicals. Sunlight is a mixed bag - it is necessary to make vitamin D, but too much sun exposure can increase free radical damage to the skin.
- Your genes. Individual differences in your body's predetermined ability to absorb carotenoids,
and will impact your skin carotenoid score.
Your genes can also affect your body's absorption and use of many other nutrients.
Dr. Weyrich can measure your genetic propensity for handling caratenoids as well as other nutrients.
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 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."