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There are several things you can do to maximize your mitochondrial health:
- Engage in regular aerobic exercise - Aerobic exercise increases the energy demands placed on your mitochondria, which causes your cells to both generate more mitochondria and your mitochondria to become more efficient at producing energy. Even at rest, fit people have a lot of spare energy production capacity and produce less free radicals, resulting in less oxidative damage to their cells. Exercise in moderation, exhaustive exercise is very damaging to your cells.
- Don’t be afraid of the cold - Cold exposure, increases amounts of brown fat in your body. Brown fat dissipates excess energy produced by mitochondria through heat, reducing the amount of free radicals leaked by mitochondria and reducing oxidative damage to your cells.
- Supplement with CoQ10 and L-Carnitine for better mitochondrial function/energy production. Supplementation is especially important for vegetarians and vegans. Your body produces CoQ10 from the amino acid Tyrosine, but its ability to produce CoQ10 declines with age (starting in our late 20s-early 30s). CoQ10 decline is thought to be the body's signaling mechanism to start aging and winding down for the next generation. CoQ10 is not very bioavailable, however, and therefore it is best to supplement with CoQ10 in the form of Ubiquinol (reduced CoQ10). L-Carnitine allows mitochondria to use long-chain fatty acids for energy generation.
- Supplement with PQQ. Traditionally, generating new mitochondria occurs as a result of strenuous aerobic exercise or extreme calorie reduction. In 2010 researchers found that PQQ supplementation not only protects your existing mitochondria from oxidative damage, but also stimulates the growth of fresh mitochondria increasing cellular energy production and slowing aging. PQQ has also been shown to protect nerve cells from degeneration and damage and even promote the growth of nerve cells, and the formation of new synapses between nerve cells (stimulates NGF). There are no food sources that contain enough PQQ to make deriving PQQ from diet alone practical.
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