Inside the cells of every plant, animal or person you will find small structures called mitochondria. These organelles (cellular organs) are cellular power plants, generating the energy the cell needs to do all of its work. Since your energy (and health) depends on the energy output of your cells, keeping mitochondrial function healthy is an important key to good health.
Researchers are discovering that dysfunction of the mitochondria may be involved in numerous health issues, including severe fatigue, diabetes, deafness and neuropathy. In fact, since loss of energy is common in many chronic health problems there may be a loss of mitochondrial function in many chronic diseases.
An article in Integrative Medicine in August of 2014 suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction may be occurring in “... neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Friedreich’s ataxia; cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and other heart and vascular conditions; diabetes and metabolic syndrome; autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes; neurobehavioral and psychiatric diseases, such as autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar and mood disorders; gastrointestinal disorders; fatiguing illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War illnesses; musculoskeletal diseases, such as fibromyalgia and skeletal muscle hypertrophy/atrophy; cancer; and chronic infections.” [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566449]
That’s quite an impressive list, which is why we’re going to discuss mitochondria and cellular energy production in this month’s Sunshine Sharing Hour. We’ll talk about factors that may damage our mitochondria and herbs and nutritional supplements that may help to repair them.