What is "Mitochondria" and why is it so important?

Today we're going to talk about rebuilding our body and immune system.

So what is this "Mitochondria"? Well . . . it's a function that orchestrates immunity in our immune cells.

The main function of our "mitochondria" is to metabolize or break down carbohydrates and fatty acids in order to generate energy. Mitochondria are the "structures" within cells that produce energy. An example would be . . . what regulates "metabolism" in human cells when you want to lose weight.

Mitochondria are found in all body cells, with the exception of only a very few. The body cells that have the most mitochondria in them are the "muscle" and "fat" cells. Do you see where I'm going with this? Healthy "mitochondria" = "good" metabolism = "burn more fat" and stay healthy.

An important feature of this function is it can regulate activation, differentiation, and "survival of immune cells". Mitochondria uses oxygen available within the cells to convert chemical energy from food we eat into cell energy in a form usable to the host cell. That us!

Mitochondria is known as the "Powerhouse" of the cell because they are responsible for the release of energy from food. They act like a digestive system which takes in nutrients, breaks them down and creates energy rich molecules for the cell. This biochemical process of the cells is known as "cellular respiration" and is done by taking in glucose (remember we spoke of this in a previous Health Tip and that glucose was a sugar that the body cannot survive without) and oxygen and produces energy, which they capture and package as energy-rich molecules.

Glucose and other carbohydrates made by plants during "photosynthesis" (we spoke of this awhile back) are broken down by the process of aerobic cellular respiration (requires oxygen) in the mitochondria of the cell. This releases energy.

So how does our "mitochondria" protect our "immune system"?

Well . . . the mitochondria of our immune cells regulate different innate immune signaling pathways when a bacterial or viral infections occurs. This alerts the immune cells to do their job to kill the pathogen like a bacteria and virus.

So how do we heal our mitochondria?

Well . . . Protein is rich in amino acids like glutathione that protects the mitochondria. It is important to remember with protein that quality is as important as quantity and that you are getting it from a variety of healthy sources like grass-fed beef and (real) free-range chicken. The free-range chicken you buy at the supermarket IS NOT REAL FREE-RANGE.

You have to go to a farmers market or local farm stand to get "really" free-range. (that's another topic for another day)

So protect your "mitochondria" for a healthy immune system!

As always, feel free to contact me here


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