An easier way to understand some of this mitochondrial science is to look at a city when it has a blackout. There is no energy for the city. Law and order quickly deteriorate. When we do not have energy for our cells the lack of law and order can become cancer or other diseases. Without energy we lose our ability to remove garbage. When the New York City sanitation workers went on strike, disease conditions sprang up almost immediately. Rats were everywhere. In our cells these rats are the increased oxidative waste from not having the proper amount of energy for the cell to carry out its functions.
Mitochondrial biogenesis is defined as a process inside the cell by which new mitochondria are formed via self-replication in order to increase cellular energy or improve cellular efficiency. As we get older we lose these abilities. As the mitochondria get worse at making energy from food and water and air, we get older. Everyone over age 40 has mitochondrial decline. We make less energy from food than when we were young. Lately, half of us under the age of 40 have early onset mitochondrial decline. One reason may be a lack of hormesis. Again, hormesis is the stress that helped us become strong as we evolved. This discussion started off with that we don’t live the way we use to. You may want to at this point start over from the beginning because it may impact you much stronger the second time around.
Paradoxically, this lack of normal healthy stress now makes us susceptible to other stresses because we have lost some of our resiliency factor. A muscle atrophies if you do not use it and our mitochondria do the same. Now normal stresses can be seen as dangerous to the cells and we can get sick from that. This is known as the cell danger response.
We now know that the mitochondria do much more than just produce ATP. They are now seen as the cells primary defense against viruses, pathogens, and toxins. The mitochondria inside the cell can signal what is going on outside the cell to other cells. This is the cell danger response and if it doesn’t eventually shut off we become sick. Even autism spectrum disorders all link to this mitochondrial cell danger response. The body getting locked into the cell danger response mode is the foundation for many diseases.
What is happening on a biochemical level is that the normal methylation processes of the DNA are shifting to deal with inflammatory responses. This helps the mitochondria fight a pathogen. However this shifts the metabolism of vitamin D, B6, purines and uric acid. All of these cellular metabolic processes change when a cell danger response begins. Normally this response goes back to normal and we regain our health. However, with all the chronic disease mentioned previously, this is no longer the case. Many people can no longer shut off their cell danger response. This is what they think is happening in autism. Suramin is a very old drug that they find useful for autism because it resets the mitochondria. By administering micro-doses every five weeks of Suramin, the cell danger responses decrease and the patients improve.
An interesting aside to this research is that this ATP signaling for the cell danger response is happening outside the cell. We are 1 trillion cells or think of us as 1 trillion amoebas that have been trained to act human. This takes a lot of signaling and coordination. Perhaps that is one reason why chiropractors get such tremendous results, since they are working with the master organ of coordination, the brain.
Speaking about coordination, the mitochondria have been discovered to communicate with each other. Since mitochondria are bacteria what is controlling the bacteria? Microbiota is defined as microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria that inhabit a particular environment like the human body, soil, or body of water. While the human body is 1 trillion cells that are human we contain many more that are not. Those cells that are not can be referred to as microbiota. Microbiota can share the same characteristics, the same activities, in terms of structure, in terms of mechanistics, so it is possible that our mitochondria have some type of relationship with our microbiota. You may have heard microbiota referred to also as our microbiome.
Certain concepts are blowing up our ideas of what is true. Our current theory of disease doesn’t match the facts. Recently, science is investigating the role of microbiome with regard to cancer, heart disease, depression, dementia, autism, autoimmune disease, obesity, diabetes, etc.. Unfortunately we cannot apply this yet for example, if you go to a rheumatologist for rheumatoid arthritis they are not going to examine your stool to see how your microbiome is performing. However, this will probably be the future of medicine. Of course they look at stool samples now but, only for parasites. Ironically the medication they give to kill the parasites also help kill our microbiome, which is what makes us human and helps us stay alive.
While it is understood and accepted that our brain is what controls everything, it may have some competition from our gut because the vital bacteria in our gut has a communication system of its own and it affects how our brains work. The gut is at the center of our health. You may have heard in the 60s the saying that you are what you eat. Well there’s been a lot of science that explains that over the past five decades. There are more molecules from the bacteria in your gut than there are from human cells. We are far more than just our self.
The gut plays a significant role in immune function. The main reason is one of the most important cells of the immune system, which regulates the immune system are in the epithelial tissue. Epithelial tissue is defined as cells that line the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body, as well as the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs (e.g. skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract) 70% of our immune system is in our gut.
Our microbiome and the food that we have in our gut is playing a significant role with regard to our health. When you change your diet and change your microbiome you are changing all your gene expressions just like exposure to toxic chemicals can change our gene expressions and cause cancer. Genes are not actually controlling our biology the way it has been thought for a long time. Genes are not the most upstream in our body. What is the most upstream is the environment. That means the concept of being dealt a bad genetic hand and you’ll just have to suffer with it is not correct. This is very bad news for Angelina Jolie. She was told that she was a high risk for breast cancer because she had the BRACA II gene and decided to have a preventive double mastectomy. Just because you have the gene for a certain disease doesn’t mean that it is going to express itself. Your internal and external environment has a lot of say with regard to whether that gene will express itself. Unfortunately, she told a lot of young women to have prophylactic mastectomies and they listened to her. You should never take medical advice from celebrities.
SNP genotyping is the measurement of genetic variations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between members of a species. It is a form of genotyping, which is the measurement of more general genetic variation. SNPs are one of the most common types of genetic variation. That means that genes alone do not determine our future. It is our genetic expression that makes a difference and who we are. Genes alone have no function, it is what brings them to life that makes the difference. Said another way, genes are not what determines whether you get a disease or not.
We have nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA and they are not the same. Again mitochondrial DNA are only maternally inherited. Our nuclear DNA is inherited from both parents. Scientists have discovered a cross talk between the two different DNAs. They had discovered communication channels between the mitochondria and the cell nucleus. The mitochondria releases some molecules that reach the nucleus and make our genome react to what’s happening. DNA is a gigantic instruction manual for how a particular given body is supposed to operate. This DNA has to be translated into RNA and RNA has to be translated into a protein, which we use. Environmental factors can affect a giant host of problems with regard to this translation process from DNA to RNA to protein synthesis and can eventually give us a disease. A disease that manifests itself from truly our weakest link. A gene is a book to be read. A gene has a job to do and we have 19,000 different genes that code for protein. Scientists keep lowering this number as they discover more about our genome. Some genes do one job and some do multiple jobs. If a gene is told to turn on then it will do its job. The things that will tell a gense to turn on could be an infection, your mindset, etc.. When you are angry and under stress, you are turning on a lot of genes.
To Be Continued.