The way we use oxygen is critical.
Oxygen is powerful simply because of its instability. It has 6 electrons flying around its outer orbit(valence shell), when 8 would be be stable. This means that it combines with or disrupts other molecules readily. Trying to “steal” 2 more electrons to make a perfect balanced 8.
This instability makes it perfect for ripping apart other molecules -which is how our mitochondria use O2 to make electrical energy from our food. Energy is transported as chemical energy in the molecule ATP.
Power to the people
Mitochondria have their own simple DNA, they live in our cells and make up about 10 % of our bodyweight while producing ATP in a single day equivalent to our bodyweight. When we are in fight or flight mode, this already impressive production goes through the roof.(2)
Because Oxygen is so reactive, it can also damage healthy cells. So a big part of mitochondrial function is cleaning up the by-products of energy production. It uses, Uric acid, Vit C* and Glutathione to do this, they essentially donate electrons to stabilise the residual Oxygen. They are known as Anti-Oxidants. (that was a brutal and shameless reduction of some pretty heavy chemistry).(3) (8)
When we burn sugars, (carbohydrates) we use more (up to 28% more(1) Oxygen than when we burn fats, (ketone bodies produced by the liver). This leaves a bigger mess and requires more Vit C and Glutathione to neutralise it.(1)
Less Oxidative stress is better than more Anti-Oxidents
The accumulation and interaction of environmental toxins also place massive load on our antioxidants, meaning there is less available to neutralise damage in our mitochondria.(2) I suspect this is how radiation works also, leaving our DNA unprotected.
Protecting our DNA, rebuilding healthy cell structures and immune response are massively energy demanding. Getting upset, also is a huge drain, which is why it is so beneficial to recognise and treat stress and its triggers.(6)
2.3 billion years ago, before cells were able to use oxygen to rip apart food, they had to ferment it, producing lactic acid as a by-product. Cells with damaged mitochondria or with no oxygen, are forced to use this old less efficient way to produce energy. That burn we feel in our muscles when we exercise is lactic acid, this tells us we are using energy faster than it can be provided through “respiration” the act of using oxygen to create energy.
Cancer, better do your own research before trusting the “indoctrinated”
Cancer cells have damaged mitochondria so have to ferment sugar or glutamine for fuel, even in the presence of ample oxygen.(4) Thats why PET scans are used to locate cancer by its tell-tale lactic acid trail. This is called the Warburg effect.
It has been shown clearly and irrefutably in rats, that healthy mitochondria can heal cells damaged from cancer, while damaged mitochondria allow cancer to arise as it simply can not protect the DNA .(5)
In cancer states, more glutathione is regulated into the healthy cells where it is needed for ATP production with O2. By ramping up oxidative stress, doctors can make the damaged “fermenting cells” suffer as they do not have the Anti-oxidentst to donate electrons.
Meanwhile the healthy cells, with their extra share of Oxygen protecting anti-oxidants, can survive and express genes that continue life and complex relationship.
This is why Ketogenic diets work so well in conjunction with stressors such as hyperbaric oxygen or even chemo drugs and radiation.
When you understand the basics it is actually blindingly simple. However, billions of dollars and thousands of careers depend on a cure that can be patented. (7)
Progress – who is driving this thing?
Over the last 10 thousand years we have switched from high quality fats and proteins bio accumulated by the enzymatic activity in the biology of large herbivores in pristine environments. (sorry that was a mouthful in itself).
Over to consumption: based largely in fructose, grass seeds and their oils. Most of the world now feeds on simple sugars with super high omega 6 concentrations.
The petrochemical intervention required to force nature out of bio-diversity and into straight lines has been enormous. Ironically the chemical byproducts of producing soy, rice, corn, wheat, canola and fruits are further cause of mitochondrial damage.(2) (3)
How this came to be has much to do with the way we operate in groups to control resourses and how that went from being our competitive edge to pushing us over it.
The price we pay for this drastic shift is the oxidisation of our mitochondria and the inevitable damage to our DNA.
* There is much more to vitamin C than I ever realised, especially in relation to low carbohydrate diets – this article covers that well.
Thomas Seyfried – (5) Cancer as a metabolic Disease – his book is hard work but essential reading for the medical profession.
Travis Christofferson – (4) Tripping over the truth – fantastic book
Dr. Art Ayers – Cooling Inflammation – blog
Dave Asprey – Bullet Proof Radio – Legendary Bio Hacker and Educator – podcast and books – new book ordered!
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND – (2) Environmental toxins and mitochondria -just got his book today 🙂
Dr. Richard Veech – (1) Mitochondrial efficiency on ketenes
Dr. Ron Hunninghake – (3) Vit C. and Glutathione on cancer
Amber O’Hearn – (8) Vit C. a deeper look
Dr. Elaine Ingham – (3) Soil Biologist and Educator
(6) Blog posts 1-8 which need to be re-written, explain how our instincts may have been skewed by group dynamics. Shifting our focus away from our senses and into memory.
(7) It appears that the most effective cancer fighting drugs are the ones that hinder glucose and glutamine synthesis or simply make the patient so sick that they can not eat. This causes the liver to switch over to body fat for fuel. Cancer cells can not use fat for fuel, so they starve while healthy cells recover.
note: I am not qualified to advise on any of these topics, however, I am not here to advice, rather to inspire you to do your own research. It could add 20 good years to your life.