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Long Covid – Mitochondrial Support

 

Mitochondria make all the energy for your cells. This energy is converted into an incredibly important molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides energy to your cells so they can properly function. It’s what allows your heart to beat, your brain to think and your adrenal glands to make hormones to help you tolerate stress. The production of ATP is a highly dynamic process. Imagine a large steel plant with molten steel and hundreds of sparks flying through the air. Now imagine that all of those sparks were radioactive and could damage whatever they came in contact with. Now you have a glimpse into the inner workings of the mitochondria, where highly toxic free radical molecules are a byproduct of ATP production. Free radicals can quickly damage cellular structures they come in contact with, including the membranes and genes of the mitochondria themselves.

Fortunately, nature provides the mitochondria a network of antioxidant molecules to deal with this incessant rain of free radicals. Key vitamins and antioxidants, (including C, E, CoQ-10), as well as lesser known molecules including N-acetyl-cysteine (used to make glutathione) and alpha lipoic acid, are used by your cells to protect highly sensitive structures in the mitochondria from damage. If your mitochondria work harder than usual, they require higher levels of these critically important molecules to adequately “cool the reactor” and prevent the spillover of toxic free radical molecules into the inner mitochondrial environment.

Situations that can cause your mitochondria to need higher levels of antioxidant molecules include increased work stress, increased emotional stress, unhealthy eating habits, increased exercise intensity, ongoing allergies, infections and the presence of toxins in your environment.

Do you think you’ve experienced any of the above recently? Let’s see…we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s less childcare to help out with the kids, the planet’s climate is becoming less stable and there’s political and racial unrest in our country. Have any of these events caused you to experience increased stress? Mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to play a significant role in why long-haulers syndrome develops and persists.

Pinchas Cohen, professor of gerontology, medicine and biological sciences at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, published a study which showed that Covid-19 directly decreases mitochondrial energy production by inhibiting cellular genes. He states:

“Future work should consider mitochondrial biology as a primary intervention target for SARS-CoV-2.”

These side effects were conclusively linked to mitochondrial toxicity and included severe fatigue, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy and dementia. The following antioxidant cocktail is taken once or twice daily depending on the severity of the clinical situation. Its key components include:

Coenzyme Q-10 50mg
Alpha lipoic acid 200mg
Acetyl-L-carnitine 500mg
N-acetyl-cysteine 600mg

Since mitochondrial nutrients work together as a network, it’s very important to get the dosage ratio of these micronutrients correct.

By supporting improved mitochondrial functioning, any other treatment, from yoga to medications, will be more effective and better tolerated. This is because improved mitochondrial functioning helps the brain, liver and immune system function at their highest level. These four micronutrients are not commonly found in most multivitamins. If they are in your daily multivitamin, they are usually not present at the dosages necessary to exert a therapeutic effect on improving mitochondrial functioning. If you already take a separate multivitamin, adding KPAX will help improve mitochondrial function.

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