Why do we need to know about mitochondria and take care of them? The mere fact that without them the body cannot produce the energy necessary for life is already a serious argument. It is a matter of survival at the biological level. Mitochondrial dysfunction is the cause of many diseases and one of the key factors in aging.
The consequences of improper lifestyle and nutrition are that mitochondria fail. We are fortunate that mitochondria can be “reborned”. This process is called the biogenesis of mitochondria. The older we get, the more relevant is the activation of this process.
Here are some proven working biohacks based on scientific research to improve the condition of mitochondria.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO ASSEMBLE NEW MITOCHONDRIA?
In order for new mitochondria to form, it is necessary that the old, broken ones die. This process is called mitophagy. From studies we know that SPERMIDIN activates mitophagy. Our body produces spermidine, but its synthesis decreases markedly with age. It is in seeds, cheese, soy and mushrooms.
This substance, nowadays fashionable, is being actively studied, including as a potential geroprotector.
Another good activator of mitophagy is UROLITIN. It is found in pomegranates, raspberries, walnuts, and is also produced by our microbiota.
RESTRICTION OF CALORIES AND FASTING
When a person is starving or restricts calories, mitochondrial biogenesis is activated. It occurs due to PGC-1α, the main cellular regulator of mitochondria. The key player in this is AMPK. This is another argument in favor of periodic fasting.
Butyrate (butyric acid)
Butyrate is formed in the intestine when bacteria break down dietary fiber, which is a good inducer of mitochondrial biogenesis. This effect of butyrate is primarily associated with the activation of AMPK and the subsequent activation of PGC-1α.it is important to feed the intestinal microbiota in a high-quality manner, and these are PREBIOTICS. They are found in large quantities in plant foods: vegetables, algae, berries, some fruits (for example, apple pectin), chicory.
Quercetin is found in large quantities in lingonberries, cranberries, viburnum, red onions. It also activates PGC-1α.
Other substances that activate PGC-1α and are directly extracted from food include catechins (cocoa, green tea, acai berries, some fruits) and resveratrol (berries, grapes, peanuts).
Sulforofan is mitogormethine. What is it? This is a substance that causes hormesis (moderate stimulating stress) and thereby stimulates mitochondria.
Sulforofan’s precursor – glucoraphanin, which turns into sulforaphane during digestion – is found in turnips, broccoli, and other types of cabbage. Most of it is found in broccoli seedlings.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate)
Contained in green tea.
This valuable substance is found in the peel of citrus fruits, in particular lemons.
PQQ (Vitamin B14)
The richest source of PQQ is organic cocoa. This vitamin is not particularly known, but it is extremely important. PQQ protects mitochondria from oxidative damage and stimulates the assembly of new mitochondria.
BHB is produced from fatty acids during fasting and on a low-carb, high-fat diet. BHB is the “main ketone”, the protagonist of LCHF and KETO, has health-improving properties.
MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
Medium chain triglycerides are found in coconut oil, which are the easiest fatty acids to make ketones. The fact that MCT activates mitochondrial biogenesis is shown only in mice so far, but this does not exclude the possibility that this will work for humans.
How cold and our physical activities affect to Mitochondria?
Cold activates the assembly of new mitochondria. Suitable and cryo sauna, and winter swimming, and dousing with cold water. The beneficial effects of cold/cold water on mitochondria are associated with the activation of PGC-1α.
Regular aerobic exercise, such as running, dancing and fitness is another way to increase the number of mitochondria.
I am sure that soon there will be more new bio hacks on this subject. Mitochondria need to be taken care of, supported, and help increase their number. Nutrition in this matter, of course, plays one of the main roles, but in addition to nutrition, regular physical activity, quality sleep, stress control and nutraceutical support are also important.