Who would have thought that mitochondria were so powerful? I know I keep banging on about mitochondria but I just freaking love them. They really are a cornerstone of health. What are they?
They are tiny little organelles that live in pretty much every cell of our bodies (not skin cells or red blood cells) and produce the energy that we all use for everything from blinking to thinking. This energy is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is said to be the energy ‘currency’ of our cells.
Some of our cells will have 100s of mitochondria, whereas others can have as much as 100,000. The heart actually contains more mitochondria than any other organ in the body – it pumps away every second of every day and never takes a break. You can imagine why it needs so much energy and mitochondria.
An average adult will pump out 110 pounds of ATP everyday, that’s a lot! Unfortunately, mitochondria get damaged as we age and start to lose their function. Unhealthy mitochondria are said to be a key driver of aging. The good news is that we can make new mitochondria through a process called mitochondrial biogenesis.
How can we potentially do this? It seems we may be able to do it through fasting, heat stress (e.g. a sauna), cold stress (really cold shower), exercise (especially HIIT) and some supplements like resveratrol.