THE STORY OF MITOCHONDRIA AND MITOCHONDRIAL HEALTH
Mitochondria is part of a cell in our body. If you consider the cell as a body, then mitochondria is an organ of the cell. The mitochondria are the energy producers in the cell, the energy they produce is called as the ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Hence mitochondria are called as the ‘powerhouse of the cell.” The ATP contains the chemical energy produced by the mitochondria. This is the energy currency for our cell’s health. So the mitochondria are vital to the survival of our physical body. They have 2 main functions, to produce energy for the body and to regulate the metabolism of the cell.
Mitochondria convert energy from the food we eat into ATP required for the body’s optimum function, so if our mitochondria are not healthy we do not get proper energy from the food we eat, we become tired and the muscles in our body need a lot of energy, they also become weaker.
It is interesting to note the origin of mitochondria in the cells of multicellular organisms. Mitochondria are actually descendents from specialized bacteria, it seems that eons ago during the process of endocytosis (process of a cell consuming food) the mitochondria somehow saved itself by becoming incorporated into the cytoplasm of the cell and started producing energy through the food consumed by the cell, and thus it became a symbiont of the cell. It got food from the cell and also converted the food to energy, so the cells could expand, divide and more multicellular organisms could form.
Hence the most interesting part of the mitochondria story here is that the mitochondria has its own DNA. And these mitochondrial DNA are maternal inheritance, meaning that they are only passed on to the offspring from the mother and not from the father. This powerful fact helps genealogical research to trace maternal lineage far back in time.
All ancient civilizations knew this even before modern science found it. So it is no wonder that all ancient cultures are matriarchal and ‘Mother Goddess’ oriented. The Supreme creative power that created all things is femine in all cultures. In Vedic tradition of India, the Supreme feminine power of creation is referred as ‘Shakti’. In the Divine Sanskrit language, Shakti means ‘power’ or ‘energy’, the very life force of all living beings. The dynamic life force energy has been personified as a woman by many ancient cultures around the world and hence we see the adoration of the Goddess energy and its power.
Today in our modern world as we face enormous problems with pollution and pandemic situations, it is important to know how to improve our mitochondrial health for well being and survival of our physicality.
When mitochondria is damaged the body goes into aging, depletion of nutrients in the body, problems with cell metabolism, accumulation of toxins in the body, neurological problems and many more. New research identifies the factors that trigger mitochondrial damage in the cells, these are alcohol, prescription drugs like acetaminophen, aspirin, antibiotics, cocaine, indomethacin, NSAIDs, statins. There are clinical studies that indicate mitochondrial damage in almost all diseases of the physical body and mind. For reference:. ((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684129/))
There are also thousands of research in neurology and brain function that suggest repetitive toxic thoughts that affect mitochondria and the DNA in the cells, thereby affecting the overall function of the physical body.
As I read all these researches, I noticed that the greatest damage is done by toxic inner environment and toxic outer environment.
New research also mentions that we set right our inner environment by choice, the choice to change our perception. The body’s language is the images we provide it. It understands images. So we need to pick the right images and the body performs.
Providing the body with nutrients and supplements, enough rest and relaxation, avoiding harsh chemicals, staying away from alcohol and drugs, processing thoughts and getting out of addictions, exercising, meditating, breathing, oxygenating, sleeping, having the will power to eat right, and learning to handle the mind are all important aspects of taking care of mitochondrial health. Remember mitochondria provide energy currency for our body, enhancing mitochondrial health, we create well being for our body.