3 Powerful Antioxidants Proven to Revitalize Your Mitochondria
Have you ever watched a 3-year-old romp around for hours on end? Not only do they seem to possess unlimited energy, but the skin on their faces has a beautiful, radiant glow. If you’re like me, you wish you could bottle up some of that energy for yourself!
So, what’s the difference between the menopausal you and these rambunctious kiddos? One factor has to do with the “batteries” within your cells – called mitochondria.
Science has shown us why our mitochondria matter when it comes to aging well. I’m about to reveal some of the latest, scientifically proven ways to revitalize these “power plants” within your cells. By using my tips, you can regain your youthful energy and avoid (or even reverse) age-related degenerative changes… Plus an added BONUS: you’ll enjoy more youthful looking, radiant skin.
When your cells are healthy on the inside,
you’ll look your best on the outside.
Referred to as the cell’s furnace, powerhouse, battery, or refinery, your mitochondria are the energy producing components in the cells of your body… And nearly every cell in the human body contains hundreds of mitochondria. The cells demanding more energy, such as heart and brain cells, contain thousands.
Why Are Your Mitochondria So Important for Optimal Health and Aging Well?
These cellular powerhouses supply the majority of your body’s energy. The primary job of mitochondria is to perform a process called cellular respiration. They accomplish this by converting the air you breathe and the food you eat into ATP, your body’s basic fuel.
In addition, they perform other vital functions:
- Prevent oxidative stress and free radical production
- Make new RNA and DNA
- Form the building blocks of cells
- Produce enzymes that are necessary for the production of hemoglobin
- The mitochondria in your liver cells contain enzymes that allow them to detoxify ammonia, which is a waste product of protein metabolism
As you can see by these important functions, your mitochondria are essential – not only for fighting disease and maintaining optimal health, but also: when your cells are healthy on the inside, you’ll look your best on the outside. Healthy mitochondria help to slow down degeneration and the aging process.
You’ll feel energized, and you can look in the mirror to see the difference.
What Do The Lines On Your Face Have to Do With Your Aging Mitochondria?
So, back to you and the 3-year-old… In our younger years, our cells are quite capable of providing the energy we need to maintain good health and create the vitality we need to get through our busy days. That’s because we have plenty of healthy, optimally functioning mitochondria. As you age, however, your body tends to produce fewer mitochondria – and the mitochondria you have can become damaged by free radicals. So, if you have fewer power generators – and if the ones you have aren’t functioning well – your body will have more difficulty keeping up with the demands placed upon it!
Our cells need energy to process waste products and toxins, to fight any exposure to infection. You need energy to maintain strong bones and muscles. Every organ in your body will feel the effects of loss of mitochondrial function… Including your skin. And remember, as you have discovered in my previous articles, your skin is the largest organ in your body! Cellular energy is needed to keep your metabolic rate revving, and to keep your skin looking youthful and radiant. If your mitochondria are few in number, or become damaged… What’s the result? You begin to show the signs of the degenerative process associated with aging. Fatigue. Weight gain. Foggy, tired brain. Dull skin. You get the picture…
Having radiant skin, vibrant health, and energy as you age is determined by your body’s ability to rebuild, repair, and boost the function of its mitochondria.
Chronic Fatigue? Don’t Take It Lying Down
Don’t you dare accept fatigue or lack of energy as a part of “normal aging.” However, I do want you to know that you might have other factors influencing your current state of health. Many of the women I work with have hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, impaired detoxification, and menopausal hormonal imbalances that are contributing factors to their chronic fatigue. So, while you’ll need to address any of those metabolic issues (if you have them), you should still do everything you can to support your mitochondria. Healthy mitochondria will provide your body with the energy needed to bring any imbalances into hormonal harmony.
What Causes Aging and Degeneration of the Body?
Several theories exist regarding the cause of aging. Most experts agree that the process is likely a combination of more than one factor, and cannot be explained by one theory alone. The telomere theory (AKA the senescence theory) and the free-radical theory are both well researched. I have more to share with you regarding your telomeres, but for this article, the focus will be tips for you to fight free radicals – especially because those they wreak havoc with your mitochondria.
The good news: free radicals are not indestructible. They can be neutralized and stabilized by taking antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful nutrients, and when taken in appropriate quantities, can improve the appearance of your skin. Deeper than that, they repair and restore vitality, all the way down into every cell in your body. So, let’s find out how to end your chronic fatigue and create youthful, beautiful skin.
How to Boost The Function of Your Mitochondria for Energy and Radiant Skin
If you want to maintain vital energy and you hope to age well, you’ve got to take good care of these microscopic refineries. These powerful nutrients can be taken to give your mitochondria a helpful tune up.
Your Cells Crave Antioxidants – These 3 are Super for Your Mitochondria:
- CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant. It is involved in the production of ATP, your body’s fuel source mentioned earlier. CoQ10 is found in high concentration within the mitochondria of your cells. If you are over 50, have cardiovascular disease, or are taking a statin, you need to take the reduced form, ubiquinol (I’ll be explaining more about this in the next article).
Recommended Dose: 100-200 mg. Higher doses may be indicated for those with severe or chronic cardiovascular disease.
- L-Carnitine: This nutrient is a natural molecule found in various forms. L-carnitine provides your mitochondria with the energy they need and protection from free-radical damage. Taking this supplement has been proven to:
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve cardiovascular function
- Promote healthy weight loss (I recommend it to all the women I work with who want to lose weight)
- Aid in blood glucose balance
- Delay or possibly reverse degeneration of the brain
Studies have shown that as people age, they tend to have lower levels of carnitine in all of their cells. Normal levels of carnitine support optimum functioning of mitochondria, so adding this nutrient to your supplement regime is a terrific pro-aging strategy.
Recommended Dose: 500-1500 mg/day
- ALA: Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant. You’ve likely heard of lipoic acid as an ingredient in topical skin care products. It reduces the roughness of the skin and decreases the appearance of photoaging. Taken internally, it works well as a standalone supplement for neutralizing and scavenging free radicals. It also regenerates and helps amplify the positive effects of other important antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and coenzyme Q10, two essential compounds in the body that fight against aging and disease.Choosing the best lipoic acid: Most vitamin stores sell brands that are a 50/50 mixture of S and R forms. Studies suggest that the most potent form of lipoic acid is R-dihydrolipoic acid. Because the R form is the one that is active in the body, I recommend purchasing a product that is 100% R-lipoic acid.
Recommended Dose: 500-1500 mg/day.
A Few Foods Rich in Antioxidants:
- Berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries
- Green, leafy vegetables
- All colorful vegetables
- Green tea
- Kidney beans
- Garlic and onions
Exercise: By engaging in physical activity, especially Joyful Movement, which I’ll be discussing in future posts, your body activates a process called mitochondrial biogenesis (how your body makes MORE mitochondria). Physical exertion also tunes up existing mitochondria as they adapt to the stress placed upon them. This has been measured in the muscle cells of athletes. And you can benefit in the exact same way – just by moving your body! Dancing at home to music you love, gardening, playing with your grandkids, or a couple of yoga poses right before bed… So, producing more mitochondria is one more reason to discover ways to add more activity to your day.
FYI. You may be aware that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs interfere with your body’s production of CoQ10. The side effects of statins have potentially disastrous sequelae to you heart, liver, and brain. If you are taking a statin, you’ll definitely want to be taking CoQ10.
- Mitochondria shown to trigger cell aging. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160204084958.htm