Mitochondrial cells can be thought of as little batteries that create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fuel that every cell in your body utilises for energy. Mitochondria are found throughout the human body, in every cell. Maximising the health of your mitochondria, which naturally decreases as we age, could be the key to longevity, and ageing well.
I recently read Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine: The Key to Understanding Disease, Chronic Illness, Aging, and Life Itself by Dr. Lee Know, which bought back my undergraduate Biochemistry lessons and reignited my interest in these tiny cellular powerhouses.
Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
“With information for patients and practitioners on optimizing mitochondrial function for greater health and longevity.
Why do we age? Why does cancer develop? What’s the connection between heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease, or infertility and hearing loss? Can we extend lifespan, and if so, how? What is the Exercise Paradox? Why do antioxidant supplements sometimes do more harm than good? Many will be amazed to learn that all these questions, and many more, can be answered by a single point of discussion: mitochondria and bioenergetics.
In Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine, Naturopathic Doctor Lee Know tells the epic story of mitochondria, the widely misunderstood and often-overlooked powerhouses of our cells. The legendary saga began over two billion years ago, when one bacterium entered another without being digested, which would evolve to create the first mitochondrion.
Since then, for life to exist beyond single-celled bacteria, it’s the mitochondria that have been responsible for this life-giving energy.
By understanding how our mitochondria work, in fact, it is possible to add years to our lives, and life to our years.
Current research, however, has revealed a dark side: many seemingly disconnected degenerative diseases have tangled roots in dysfunctional mitochondria.
However, modern research has also endowed us with the knowledge on how to optimize its function, which is of critical importance to our health and longevity.
Lee Know offers cutting-edge information on supplementation and lifestyle changes for mitochondrial optimization, such as CoQ10, D-Ribose, cannabinoids, and ketogenic dietary therapy, and how to implement their use successfully.
Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine is an invaluable resource for practitioners interested in mitochondrial medicine and the true roots of chronic illness and disease, as well as anyone interested in optimizing their health.”
Supplements to Support Mitochondrial Health
In the book Dr. Lee Know recommends several supplements that are important for optimising mitochondrial health. These are:
- Co-enzyme Q10 – this is a vital component in the mitochondrial electron transport chain and production in the body naturally declines with age. Ubiquinol appears to be the ideal form to take as a supplement.
- PQQ – energy generated within cellular mitochondria exposes them to constant free radical activity. The resulting mitochondrial decay is a key part of ageing. PQQ supports vital mitochondrial structures to retain youthful cellular function. PQQ like CoQ10 is a highly potent antioxidant. Also, PQQ activates genes that promote formation of new mitochondria and usefully interacts with genes involved in mitochondrial health, healthy body weight, normal fat and sugar metabolism and youthful cell creation.
- L-Carnitine – this compound transports long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria for subsequent beta-oxidation to produce ATP. Like CoQ10, L-Carnitine production decreases as we age.
- R(+) Alpha Lipoic Acid – an important mitochondrial antioxidant, and it also has an important role in the production of glutathione.
- D-Ribose – this simple 5-carbon sugar is important for energy synthesis, as a structural component of ATP. It’s recommended for athletes, but also for people suffering from Chronic Fatigue (CFS) or Fibromyalgia. This is what the product manufacturer’s claim: Boost energy and performance. Enhance muscle recovery. Recommended by specialist practitioners for sufferers of M.E. and related symptoms. Helps maintain cardiovascular health and fitness. Helps rebuild muscle ATP stores (Adenosine Triphosphate). Standard dose is 3-5g daily.
- Magnesium – magnesium is involved in 300+ reactions in the body and is also important for mitochondrial health. We have written about magnesium before here. Magnesium glycinate is well absorbed, or use a topical magnesium oil spray.
With so many different compounds being important for mitochondrial health, it seems sensible to look for a formula that contains all or as many of them as possible.
I looked at all the supplement brands I believe to be high quality, to see what mitochondrial supplements they sold. Here’s a round-up of the best options.
- Life Extension
- Nutri Advanced
- Cytoplan (UK Company)
- Biocare MitoGuard (60 capsules, dose = 2 capsules)
*CoEnzyme Q10 50mg
*N-Acetyl Carnitine 100mg
*Alpha Lipoic Acid 50mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 50mg 4545
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 30mg 2143
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 100mg Niacin Equivalent 625
N-Acetyl Cysteine 50mg
Korean Ginseng Extract 10:1 20mg Equivalent to 200mg Ginseng Powder
- Higher Nature
- Designs for Health – Mitochondrial NRG (120 capsules, dose = 4 capsules)
*CoQ10 (Naturally Fermented) 100 mg
*L-Carnitine (as Fumarate) 200mg
*Alpha Lipoic Acid 100 mg
*D-Ribose 100 mg
*Magnesium (as Creatine MagnaPower Magnesium Creatine Chelate) 100 mg 25%Also contains:
Thiamin (Vitamin B-1)(as Thiamin HCL) 50 mg 3330%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)(as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate) 10 mg 590%
Vitamin B-3 (as Niacinamide) 5mg 25%
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) 5 mg 250%
Vitamin B-12 (as Methylcobalamin) 2000 mcg 3330%
Manganese (TRAACS Manganese Glycinate Chelate) 500 mcg 25%
Creatine (as Creatine MagnaPower Magnesium Creatine Chelate) 550 mg
Fumaric Acid (from L-Carnitine Fumarate) 150 mg
Malic Acid 100 mg
Succinic Acid 100 mg
Trans Resveratrol from 200 mg
Polygonum cuspidatum (root) 100 mg
Curcumin C3 Complex (Curcuma longa)(rhizomes)(containing three curcuminoids: curcumin, bisdemethoxy curcumin, demethoxy curcumin)[standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids] 100 mg Pantethine 50 mg
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