Mitochondrial health

We may only be 10% human (as 90% of off the cells in our body are microbes) but we still have around 10 trillion human cells that need looking after. Within every cell in our body, apart from our blood cells, we have bacteria like structures called mitochondria. These are responsible for the production of energy. They are called the ‘powerhouses’ of our cells and they make energy by producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is energy currency for us to utilise throughout our body. Some cells in our body have lots of mitochondria, a liver cell can have up to 2,000, a heart cell up to 10,000 and a brain cell can have up to 2 million mitochondria!

Free radicals

To produce ATP in mitochondria, a percentage of electrons will leak from the electron transport chain and form what is called reactive oxygen species (ROS) or more commonly known as free radicals. ROS are molecules that contain oxygen atoms that have gained one or more unpaired electrons, making them very unstable. Though our bodies are producing these all the time, too many of them can be dangerous as they cause disease. Therefore, reducing the amount of ROS in our body is essential to achieve optimal health.

Become a fat burning animal!

For our mitochondria to produce ATP they need fuel, and they can get this in the form of glucose (from the breakdown of carbohydrates) or in the form of ketones (from the breakdown of fats). The best fuel for our mitochondria is ketones and one of the main reasons is because when our cells burn ketones for fuel, far fewer free radicals are produced than when we burn glucose. In the western world the diet is very carbohydrate rich – grains, rice, pasta, bread, potatoes – to name a few, and though these aren’t particularly bad for us, too much of them is, as our mitochondria end up using only glucose for fuel.

To get your body to burn ketones instead of glucose you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates that you eat. As a result of reducing your carbohydrates, to get a good supply of energy into your body, you need to increase your consumption of good, healthy fats. Whenever your supply of carbohydrates from food is low or non-existent, even after a couple of days or so, your body will start to convert fat to ketones and start using ketones for fuel instead, which is much better for long-term health.

When this happens, you are burning fat for fuel, and you have become a fat burning animal! You are in what is called nutritional ketosis which is a very healthy way for the human body to function.

Nutritional ketosis

When you are in nutritional ketosis many positive things will occur including:

  • You will start to feel more energised
  • You will stop obsessing about food
  • Your mental clarity will improve
  • You will feel calmer
  • Your digestive system will settle
  • Your sleep quality will improve
  • Your skin will clear up

This sounds like a great place to be, but you will probably need some help getting there. That is where I come in. Not only will I help you achieve this, I will also help you maintain it.

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