what do mitochondria do

What Do Mitochondria Do – Immune System Support

What do mitochondria do? They provide energy, including what your immune system runs on.

The also provide energy for everything else your body does. Ever wondered why you feel tired? Do you wonder why your alcohol tolerance has disappeared as you’ve got older?

It’s down to your mitochondria.

Mitochondria are tiny structures and there are hundreds in each of your cells. There are thousands in very active cells like the brain, liver, and immune system.

Mitochondria produce energy from glucose and fats. Their function is so vital that if you switch them off, which is what cyanide does, you will pretty instantly die.

What Do Mitochondria Do?

Mitochondria fuel every single function in your body, here’s just a few:

  • The energy you need to move
  • The energy you need to think
  • The energy your immune system runs on
  • The energy your liver needs to detox your system to keep you alive
  • The energy you need to grow new skin, hair, and nails

Ever wondered why illness and disease become more common as people get older? How about why you cope less well with alcohol as you get older? And what about dropping energy levels?

Why do older people tend to succumb to infections more so than younger people?

It’s estimated that between the ages of 30 and 70 the average person’s mitochondrial function can reduce by as much as 50%!

This is why you’re getting tired and having brain fog. It’s contributing to a less robust immune system.

It’s the main reason you cope with alcohol less well as you age – your liver is slowing down and can’t deal with it as well as it used to. It’s adding the problem alcohol inflicts on your sleep.

It’s also at the root cause of common degenerative disease, because your body just doesn’t have the energy to repair the inevitable wear and tear that we all suffer every day.

I took a deep dive into mitochondrial health and function when I suffered a menopausal triggered crash in energy. I was delighted to find the my age-related and menopause related energy slump was reversible. It’s possible to restore your mitochondrial function back to what you had years ago.

How To Improve Mitochondrial Function

Just a few tips today as you could write a book on this stuff. I will be writing more very soon.

Stop harming your mitochondria, these are just a few:

  • Cut right back on sugar and refined carbs – high blood sugar is also welcoming for viruses and other infections
  • Eliminate trans fats – they damage the very structure of your mitochondria:
    • Fried food, crisps, processed and packaged ‘food’, margarine, most mass produced cheap vegetable oils
  • Artificial additives, e.g. artificial sweeteners, MSG, most E numbers
  • Moderate alcohol – 14U for women, 21U for men – go for quality rather than quantity
  • Only take the pharmaceutical drugs you really need:
    • Paracetamol and ibuprofen depress mitochondrial function
  • Pretty much any man-made chemical that can cross your skin or lungs and into your body:
    • Cosmetics, unless natural
    • Skin products, unless natural
    • Cleaning products – go for the ones made with natural ingredients
    • Artificial air fresheners
    • Vaping when it has perfumes and flavourings added
    • Smoking – this obviously reduces the resilience of your lungs, making it much more likely to pick viruses up

Do things to support, strengthen, and increase numbers of mitochondria, these are just a few:

  • Eat a diet rich in healthy natural fat – the preferred fuel of your mitochondria
  • Eat plenty of veg and some fruit – these are rich in antioxidants that your mitochondria need
  • Drink mineral rich water – I do this by adding 1/2 tsp of Celtic sea salt to a 1L of water
  • Exercise – particularly brief bouts of high intensity, and resistance training with weights
  • Prioritise sleep – this in particular is important for your immune system
  • Consider HRT if you’ve reached that time of life – and this goes for men too!

Mitochondrial health runs as the main theme throughout my menopause workshops, because when these are restored to full capacity so is your health and vitality.

Click here for info on the next one.

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Have a great week.

Dr Julie

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