Over the past six newsletters I have delved into the importance of mitochondrial health and how certain interventions like exercise, infrared light, and nutritional supplements can improve its function. But how do we know if we have a mitochondrial problem to begin with? Is there a test to see if the mitochondria are weak and is there a way of measuring if they are improving?
There is no perfect way to measure mitochondrial health, but if there were a best choice available it would be indirect calorimetry. Indirect calorimetry is a method that measures the respiratory gases oxygen and carbon dioxide to determine what someone’s metabolic rate is. More simply it measures resting metabolic rate (RMR) or resting energy expenditure (REE), which determines the number of calories needed by a person to live. RMR and REE can be used interchangeably. By analyzing these parameters of breath analysis and knowing the level of activity a person has during the day, you could tailor a diet specifically for that person. If you wanted someone to maintain their weight you would want to know the calories needed to perform their physical activity and the calories needed for their resting metabolic rate to equal the number of calories consumed. RMR is in large measure related to the health of the mitochondria because it represents the burn rate of your caloric needs
Mitochondrial Health Part 6: The Magic Bullet- Methylene Blue
In 1900, Paul Ehrlich coined the term “magic bullet” when he was referring to a chemical discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Caro a German chemist working for BASF called methylene blue. Methylene blue, a brilliant blue salt that was at first used as a blue dye for the textile industry. By the year 1890, microbiologist Robert Koch was using it to stain cells and tissues when looking at slides under a microscope. A Polish pathologist Czeslaw Checinski used it to stain the parasite causing malaria and to his surprise killed the parasite. In 1891, it was Paul Ehrlich who published a case study on two malaria patients who were cured of malaria with methylene blue making it the first synthetic drug. When antibiotics were discovered in the early part of the 20th century, these new drugs replaced methylene blue in the prevention and treatment of malaria.
Methylene blue, used today as an antiseptic in the blood supply to kill microbes to reduce risk of infection during an infusion of blood, also has FDA approval it to treat a condition called methemoglobinemia. This is a condition where the hemoglobin inside the red blood cells become oxidized and can no longer transport oxygen. Symptoms of methemoglobinemia are blue fingertips, shortness of breath, confusion, seizures, coma, and metabolic acidosis from low levels of oxygen in the blood. Methylene blue is in the emergency rooms of hospitals across the U.S. for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning and other chemical poisonings that would result in the condition of methemoglobinemia.
Apart from excess copper in a few conditions such as Wilson’s disease, Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma, or a genetic disease called Menke’s syndrome, copper is a forgotten mineral and seldom discussed as a deficiency in functional medicine. Before reading this book by Morley Robbins who cleverly used the chemical symbol Cu for copper, I was unfamiliar with the importance of this vital mineral, its role in the mitochondria, and its ability to control the oxidative effects of iron in our body.
Morley Robbins is a retired hospital administrator who wanted to be a physician as a young man. When he retired, an encounter with a Chiropractor who helped his frozen shoulder fostered a curiosity about why people get sick and spurred Robbins to dig into research articles for three or more hours every day for ten years. The result was finding research over the past one hundred years that developed into what he calls The Root Cause Protocol. Simply put, his focus in the book was to explain how the important balance of three minerals: magnesium, copper, iron, and ceruloplasmin (a protein) relate to most chronic degenerative diseases. For this newsletter, I will focus on fatigue and the effects of these four pieces have on the mitochondria.
Mitochondrial Health Part 4 – Supplemental Support
We have already discussed some important methods and supplements but since it is such a complex subject, in this newsletter I will try and give reasons why these additional supplements should be considered as important activators for improving mitochondrial health by increasing ATP and energy within our cells. These supplements have multiple benefits beyond helping the mitochondria, but for the sake of this newsletter I will keep it specific to mitochondrial health benefits.
This is a sugar found within beef, eggs, and dairy. Aging, and exercise can reduce ATP, and D-Ribose will bring back energy from lowered ATP. Taken by capsule or powder in ranges from 3-5 grams is recommended. From what I have read on it, taking it for one month to see if it is helping. There was a study in 2015 from Ohio State that showed an improvement in congestive heart failure in 64% of the subjects when supplementation of D-Ribose was administered over six weeks. Cautions: Some people report gastrointestinal symptoms and lowered blood sugar when taking it, so anyone with hypoglycemia or even those who are on insulin need to be cautious.
This is an antioxidant found in the seeds, and skins of grapes and berries. This study in 2017 showed improvement in mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction. There does not appear to be any cautions to be concerned about with resveratrol.
An amino acid that transports long-chain fatty acids into your mitochondria ... (keep reading)
In the world of anti-aging research, there has been a large focus on N.A.D. which is
a natural compound in all cells of our body. It is a critical molecule in that it helps
cells unlock energy from food and create ATP, a process that occurs in the mitochondria. It is also a signaling molecule to tell cells it needs repair and maintenance. N.A.D. is high when we are young, and declines throughout life by a factor of 50% every 20 years. If you could keep your N.A.D. levels elevated, you could theoretically pause or even reverse signs and symptoms of aging.
N.A.D. stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. It will be much easier to refer to it as NAD. Made from vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid or nicotinamide/niacinamide) and to a lesser extent from tryptophan. NAD exists as NAD+, NADH, NADP+, and NADPH. NAD is a redox couple where the NAD+ and NADP+ are the oxidized forms and NADH and NADPH are in the reduced form. When oxidized, it loses electrons and when reduced it is gaining electrons and NAD in these coenzyme forms are responsible for all metabolic transformations that take place within our bodies. Without them we would die within 30 seconds. This is how cyanide works. Cyanide shuts down the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme in the mitochondria which is the last step in the process of making ATP and oxygen. Cyanide makes oxygen unavailable.
Last month’s article was devoted to the importance of mitochondrial health in the production of energy for the body in the form of ATP. This currency of energy used by the body is important not only in movement of muscles, but also the movement of energy for clear thinking, the movement to activate immune system responses, and the energy for reducing pain. To summarize, it all happens with food we consume through the Krebs Cycle and combining NADH with oxygen as it passes through the Electron Transport Chain to form water and carbon dioxide. This happens in the 250 quadrillion mitochondria we have within all our cells. However, there is a missing piece to this process, which is the importance of red and infrared light on our mitochondria. Keep Reading>>
Mitochondria are organelles that apart from red blood cells, exist in mind boggling numbers throughout our bodies. Mitochondria, which are responsible for providing energy for the body, vary in number according to the different types of cells in the body. The largest concentration of mitochondria is in our brain, neurons, and heart where there could be thousands of mitochondria in each cell providing energy needed for cognition and movement. It is estimated that we have 250 quadrillion mitochondria in us and that mitochondria make up about 20% of our body weight. Additionally, our immune system depends on mitochondrial health to have the energy to defeat infections that arise from time to time. Persistent infections are a likely sign that the immune system lacks the energy to recover even when healing procedures are administered. There is abundant evidence that damaged or diminished mitochondrial functionality is a key reason for the onset of almost every degenerative disease we commonly hear about along with an accelerated or normal decline in aging.
Dr. Richard Johnson has spent the past twenty years researching why we get fat so easily, and how fructose and uric acid play an important role in contributing to most of the major health problems we see today including heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. In his third book titled Why Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, Johnson uses his unique background in Anthropology, as a kidney specialist, and research background to detail how human physiology and diet have influenced the epidemic of the most common health problems seen today.
If you were to play a word association game with any physician and said uric acid the response would probably be Gout in nearly 100% of the cases. Uric acid is a waste product from the breakdown of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA of the purines that are elevated in red meat, sardines, shrimp, and brewer’s yeast. If those purines crystalize in a joint such as the big toe, this is Gout, and it can be very painful.
What Dr. Johnson has discovered is that uric acid is also a downstream byproduct of the metabolism of fructose, and this is the key to what Dr. Johnson talked about in his second book called The Fat Switch...
This may be the single most important article I have released to date. When the Biden vaccine mandate was announced and the Covid vaccine was approved for the 5-11 age group I felt the need to speak up. The goal is to create a conversation, create clarity in answering some of the questions about Covid I am asked every day but do not always have the time or resources to answer properly. These are confusing times to say the least. This is a long one, so find a quiet space, I hope you find it informative, and PLEASE respond with a comment or a question if you feel the need. As you will see, I am using this to share well respected and alternative sources to the mainstream media and governments narrative, so you can draw your own conclusions. We do not always need to agree, but we do need to have a place to speak and be heard.
Questioning Actual Science
With the pandemic showing no signs of abating as it approaches two years, the man driving the government’s response, Dr. Anthony Fauci head of NIAID (national institute of allergies and infectious disease) for the past four decades, has on more than one occasion stated when questioned on his approach, “that an attack on me is an attack on science.”
“The truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged.”
I do not know who to attribute this quote to, but it resonates with me given our current state of a pandemic. Hearing Dr. Fauci arrogantly equate himself with science is troubling considering his position and responsibility to the public. Science was built upon skepticism and debate. We need to be questioning every facet of the pandemic response. Our personal health, and our family’s health demands this scrutiny. With the demand for mandated Covid vaccination and armed with a one-year perspective to view the result of the vaccines, this is especially important.
We think of melatonin primarily for its association with sleep. There is a good reason for this. We know that the Pineal gland located in our brain is responsible for secreting melatonin and that this secretion is dependent on the circadian rhythm of the light-dark cycle that should occur in our daily life. Artificial light and electronic devices emitting “blue light” has a stimulatory effect on our nervous system that interferes with melatonin production resulting in less than adequate sleep cycles. This results in poor concentration during the day and the need for catching up on sleep at other times. More importantly is that during a restful night’s sleep the body removes waste from the brain.
The glymphatics are the lymphatics of the brain and with a restful night’s sleep we remove potentially neurotoxic products like beta-amyloid, tau proteins, alpha-synuclein and neurofibrillary tangles which are responsible for neurological diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and M.S. respectively. In a study “Protection of Metal Toxicity by Melatonin – Recent Advances” published...