If your mitochondria stops working, even for just about six seconds, you die, because those mitochondria are that active.
What is Mitochondrial Dysfunction?
Your mitochondria are susceptible to defects and damage for various reasons. Mitochondria are structurally unique because they were once a type of bacteria that invaded the cell. But through the course of evolution and time, mitochondria have made a permanent home in our cells. Unlike nuclear DNA, often seen in the shape of an ‘x’, mitochondrial DNA is always in the shape of a ring. While this allows the DNA to be transcribed easily, it also makes it vulnerable to damage.
Cause of Mitochondrial Dysfunction
This may seem obvious, but poor nutrition has serious implications on your mitochondrial health. Mitochondria depend on vitamins and minerals to function properly. Many of our diets are insufficient in minerals, trace elements, and vitamins that are necessary for our metabolic processes.
This heavy metal is known to interfere with ATP production by disrupting the cytoskeleton in the cell, which is like the support beams in your house. Think of the mitochondria as one room within a house. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a result of poor structural support. The main sources of aluminum are found in cosmetic products, over the counter medication and some pharmaceuticals. Even some of our food and water have trace amounts of aluminum. Other toxins and heavy metals poison the body leading to disease and dysfunction.
Cells rely on oxygen and nitrogen for metabolism, but sometimes these elements can cause damage in the form of reactive oxidative species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Cells have natural defense mechanisms to protect against ROS and RNS damage, but sometimes these defense mechanisms can fail. Damage to cell membranes, DNA, and proteins from ROS and RNS can severely impact the vitality of the cell.
There is no doubt that prescription medications have saved countless lives. If it wasn’t for recent advances in medicine, we would not be able to battle infections and control blood sugar levels. Alternatively, however, some medications can significantly affect our mitochondrial health.
Cells could not grow, divide, or even survive without well preserved DNA. Key enzymes, known as sirtuins (Anti-Ageing) and PARPs, help repair DNA damage that has occurred from oxidative stress. These protective enzymes need NAD+ to repair the DNA damage. With excess DNA repair, mitochondria have little NAD available for energy production. Remember, NAD is used throughout biology to create energy within the cell.
Therapies for Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Exercise: The most economical way to increase mitochondrial function is through exercise. Incorporating an exercise routine may seem like a daunting task to some, thus it is best to take small and gradual steps towards a type of exercise you find rewarding. One study evaluated the effects of exercise and observed improvements in mitochondrial function by 50%. This study evaluated mitochondrial DNA expression, energy production (electron transport chain), and membrane structure through cardiolipin.
Sleep: The number one hack to help restore energy levels and mitochondrial function is getting enough sleep. Mitochondria are replenished while you sleep at night during your circadian cycle. A key enzyme called NAMPT is regulated by sleep. Furthermore, this enzyme becomes less active by eating and a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to get quality sleep and exercise regularly to maintain healthy mitochondria.
NAD+ Therapy: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a crucial coenzyme for energy synthesis in the mitochondria. Additionally, NAD+ is also a key activator of protective enzymes, which help repair DNA and protect the cell from dying. When cellular NAD+ levels fall past a particular threshold, the mitochondria are signaled to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
Is NAD+ the key to mitochondrial function, longevity, and enhancing energy?
Having low energy affects nearly every area of your life and has long-lasting effects on your body. Feeling tired all the time is not normal. Fatigue, tiredness, the inability to recover after physical activity or sleep, all indicate that there is something off in your body.
Where does energy come from?
Energy is produced in the mitochondria located within your cells. When your mitochondria is functioning optimally, it is pumping out lots of your primary energy molecule, called ATP.
As you age, experience illness, meet toxins, and even through every-day stress the cells in your body become deprived of oxygen, which affects the mitochondria and its ability to produce adequate amounts of ATP.
Without a way to restore this critical process, your fatigue and low energy may become chronic and lead to other illnesses, or health concerns.
How can an NAD+ be used to improve mitochondrial function?
IV infusions of NAD+ are gaining popularity, especially among athletes, due to the observed mitochondria ATP production that follows. It has shown improvements in endurance, strength, stamina, and athletic performance.
NAD+ IVs have been administered safely for many years and recent trials have demonstrated its effectiveness. Combining higher doses of NAD+ with a multivitamin IV containing B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, and vital minerals may enhance the NAD+ transportation into the mitochondria and deliver many vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy cellular and mitochondrial function.
Receiving larger doses of NAD+ in this way, improves the NAD+/NADH ratio and boosts mitochondrial oxygen utilization significantly.
Individuals receiving this combination of NAD+ and IV multivitamins have reported:
- Increased Energy
- Increased Strength
- Increased Mental Clarity
- Increased Endurance
- Increased Potency
- Improved Mood.
Studies of NAD+ have shown that NAD+ protects DNA and has anti-aging effects including increased numbers of circulating stem cells.
A series of IV infusions of NAD+ and multivitamins may provide advantages over a single infusion, especially initially. After an initial series, maintenance treatments every several weeks may help to maintain the beneficial effects.
Additionally, when administered in high dosages, NAD+ has been shown to eliminate cravings and reverse addiction to opiates, alcohol, and other substances.