Mitochondria and energy production:
Your mitochondria are responsible for converting nutrients from food into energy in the cell. Within the mitochondria, a bunch of reactions take place that moves electrons around, eventually resulting in the ATP molecules that the cells use for energy.
Most of your cells have hundreds of mitochondria to thousands of mitochondria. Egg cells have upwards of a half-million mitochondria in them. One exception, though, is that your tiny red blood cells don’t contain any mitochondria.
The term mitochondrial dysfunction simply refers to the mitochondria not working as efficiently as they should. There are a lot of causes of mitochondrial dysfunction, and thus many targeted solutions.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in many diseases of aging[ref]:
- heart disease
- decreased immune function
Causes of mitochondrial dysfunction in aging:
First, mitochondrial biogenesis, the creation of more mitochondria, decreases with aging.
Mitochondrial numbers aren’t static – they can increase and decrease as a cell’s need for energy changes. While we often think of mitochondria as jelly-bean shaped organelles, they can change in size and shape, as well as fuse together or divide into two.
- Things to look into here: SIRT3, SIRT1, ways of increasing autophagy (mitophagy) such as intermittent fasting
- Resveratrol and metformin are both slightly poisonous to mitochondria and thus prompt an overreaction of more mitochondria to be made.