“Powerhouse of the cell” and “battery of a car” are some common analogies you may have heard used to describe the mitochondria . These analogies oversimplify the functions and role of mitochondria in cell physiology. In contrast to powerhouses with a single energy transformation purpose, mitochondria are multifaceted and multifunctional . Additionally, mitochondria are pivotal in acting against any imminent threats posed against the cell by activating the cell danger response. Any disruption that causes mitochondrial dysfunction results in various diseases.
If you fly with any regularity, you very likely know the feeling of being jet-lagged.
The so-called “jet lag syndrome” includes a variety of symptoms like sleepiness, headache, body pain, fatigue, dry or irritated skin, brain fog, gastrointestinal issues, and more.
Just 1% faster. Just 1% stronger. These are the kinds of gains elite athletes strive for to be just .01 second faster than their competition. But even if you are just a weekend warrior trying to not get injured in this week's softball game, the better tuned your internal metabolic system is at making energy, the faster, stronger, and less prone to injury you will be too.
Energy metabolism depends on a key cellular organelle, the mitochondria. They work as the cell power plant, relentlessly providing energy in (almost) every cell of our body via OXPHOS and the ETC. You have quadrillions of mitochondria in your body. Yes, quadrillions!
BLUE: Did you know that besides staining our tongues blue and turning on smurf mode, methylene blue has been historically used in biochemistry as a dye for microbes and blood smears? (A sphincter says) What?!* Is methylene blue actually good for us? Or is it dangerous?
Mitochondria are absolutely vital to maintaining and optimizing health. When they work well, we feel well, and when they don’t, we don’t. Symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction can vary from fatigue and brain fog to the obliteration of the ETC from cyanide poisoning and death. Ouch!
In almost all eukaryotic cells, mitochondria run the cell’s metabolic machinery, transforming energy from food directly to energy. They produce impressive amounts of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the bio-currency of cells, making use of oxygen and multiple enzymes attached to their inner membrane.
Danger! Watch yourself! The cell danger response (CDR) may just be the most important cellular response that you have never heard about…until now. Well, unless it was in a Mystical song from the the year 2000.
The CDR is defined as an evolutionary conserved metabolic response, activated when a cell comes across serious threats that could potentially injure or kill the cell .
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