If you remember your biology from high school, you’ll remember the term, mitochondria. I vaguely recall having to color in diagrams of the human cell and coloring in the mitochondria. But I never knew that mitochondria is tied to brain fogginess, fatigue and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis (MS). Read on to find out the link between mitochondria and brain fog.
What is mitochondria?
They are often referred to as the “powerhouses of the cells”. Each of us has quadrillions of these powerhouses in our bodies. They create energy for our cells so that they can carry out daily functions. The more functions the organ is responsible, the more mitochondria there will be in that organ. They are abundant in the cells that make up our hearts, brains and muscles.
Mitochondria generates chemical energy – which is fuel for our bodies. This energy made by the mitochondria is the form of a chemical called adenosine triphosphate, ATP for short. ATP is the energy currency that our cells need and it keeps us alive. ATP is creating through an electron transport chain in the mitochondria. There are some 17,000 ATP assembly lines that create ATP. It is a complex process that must occur before energy is generated.
Why is mitochondria important?
When communication breaks down between cells’ nuclei and their mitochondria, the aging process is accelerated. If we have unhealthy mitochondria, we may experience fatigue and brain fogginess. Worse, we run a greater risk of having serious conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
Stress, sedentary lifestyles, free-radical damage and exposure to infections, allergens and toxins can all cause the mitochondria network to deteriorate. One major reason our mitochondria become unhealthy is due to poor diet – empty calories of sugars, flours, and other processed foods. A good mitochondria network translates to better energy and focus. You will also feel better and your metabolism will be more robust.
To reverse the faltering of the mitochondria, research has shown that diet can make a significant difference. The research suggests avoiding gluten, dairy and sugar. It suggests eating lots of vegetables and fruits daily, especially dark-colored, rich in sulfur vegetables such as argula, broccoli and bok choy.
In addition, targeted supplementation may also help get the mitochondria healthy. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), a substance known for transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria may help repair the DNA from damage. ALC works with your mitochondria to help it metabolize fat, assisting with weight loss, but is also great for improving your mental function. Some people are deficient in ALC and therefore taking an ALC supplement can help ensure you have enough of this carnitine, keeping your mitochondria healthy.
The human body is so complex and there are many processes going on inside that you may not think about. Each process works together to create healthy bodies. Make sure you take care of yours by eating healthy, living an active lifestyle and taking the correct supplements!
CoQ10 – Supplement for Mitochondria
CoQ10 (Also known as Ubiquinol of CoEnzyme Q10), is one of the most popular supplements for mitochondrial health. CoQ10 is of particular interest because it not only supports the mitochondrial respiratory chain but also acts as a powerful antioxidant. In protocols for mitochondrial support, particularly as it pertains to liver, kidney, and cardiovascular health, CoQ10 and other mitochondrial nutrients (l-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid) are a reasonable consideration.