8

votes

How efficient are your mitochondria?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 09, 2013 at 1:15 AM

And how do you go about increasing their efficiency/function/oxidative capacity?

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 17, 2013
at 01:33 AM

Try to invest some time reading about the basics using a biochemistry textbook. Some of it may seem intractable at first but if you persist it will pay off and a lot of the stuff you encounter online especially in forums like this will make a lot more sense.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 16, 2013
at 01:07 PM

Yea, I guess I'm still a little rusty on that, I just know that I've seen that Super Fast Twitch muscles produce like twice the ATP as slow Twitch muscles and I think I assumed that this meant their mitochondria were responsible for it since Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. I still don't fully understand the process by which cysotosolic atp production occurs, but I appreciate the feedback you're giving since it seems like you might know more about the inner-workings of the cell than me, which means I'll only walk away knowing more about the subject.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 14, 2013
at 10:54 PM

Distinguish between cysotosolic and mitochondrial ATP production.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:40 PM

Okay I'm gonna quote something from a research paper and see if this helps clarify what I meant to say, "Type I (slow-twitch, oxidative) and type IIa (fast-twitch, glycolytic–oxidative) fibres are rich in mitochondria. They rely for their ATP production on oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, type IIb (fast-twitch, glycolytic) fibres, are mitochondria-poor and have a very effective glycolytic ATP synthesis." source: jp.physoc.org/content/565/3/855.full.pdf .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:39 PM

Okay I'm gonna quote something from a research paper and see if this helps clarify what I meant to say, "Type I (slow-twitch, oxidative) and type IIa (fast-twitch, glycolytic–oxidative) fibres are rich in mitochondria. They rely for their ATP production on oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, type IIb (fast-twitch, glycolytic) fibres, are mitochondria-poor and have a E. V. Isaeva and V. M. Shkryl contributed equally to this work. very effective glycolytic ATP synthesis." source: http://jp.physoc.org/content/565/3/855.full.pdf page 1.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 13, 2013
at 10:17 PM

Glycation is the binding of sugar molecules to proteins.. You mean glycolysis? Glycolysis occurs in the cytosol and not in mitochondria.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:56 PM

like what if the body has to make more because they aren't running as efficiently.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:56 PM

As the rate of oxidative phosphorylation is proportional to the presence of ADP (consider ADP as an 'uncharged' ATP) its possible to measure mitochondrial function in response to ADP. In this way it is possible to measure the ratio of ATP/ADP and determine mitochondrial function - introduce ADP and observe how long it takes for ATP levels to rise. Wouldn't this method only be practical for measuring slow twitch and possibly fast twitch muscle fibres? Super fast twitch muscles use glycation not phosphorylation for atp production. And does more mitochondria necessarily mean better function?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:10 AM

Idk, are you saying that Intrahepatic triglycerides would be inversely associated with insulin resistance and TF mitochondrial function?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 13, 2013
at 01:41 AM

intrahepatic triglyceride is a measurement that may be correlated, if I understand what you are looking for. An increase would be inversely correlated. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17911339

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:35 PM

Careful guys, April has been known to give out mislabeled bottles of nutrients that are addictive and leave you coming back for more. The bottles become progressively more expensive!! Caution!. ;)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:32 PM

But you bring up a really good point CD, there aren't really full proof ways to measure it yet. The article I just cited demonstrates that vo2 max isn't necessarily representative and that they don't know why. I have my own theories, but as for the moment there isn't a great way to measure mitochondrial efficiency, though it should be noted we are talking about an individual mitochondria's efficiency when we say this. Not the cumulative efficiency of all the mitochondria in the body as mitochondria could be dense and inefficient and produce similar results though individually much weaker.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 12:51 AM

Possibly cytochrome c. http://www.fasebj.org/content/25/8/2843.full

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 11, 2013
at 09:58 PM

side question, how might one go about measuring and base-lining their mitochondria efficiency?

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:48 AM

http://www.jbc.org/content/284/34/22840.full.pdf

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:47 AM

Hello fellow Dutchman, these are some studies: http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Co-Q10_Energizes_Heart.shtml The studies positively show that Co-Q10 supplements can increase the levels in brain mitochondria. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21691752/ Taurine however doesn't seem to have a direct effect our mitochondria, but seems to prevent excessive oxidation within. L-Carnitine does seem to influence the mitochondria as they tested in several studies. The lacking thereof had a negative impact and was reversed by supplementing. But no humans involved yet, just rats.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 10, 2013
at 12:05 PM

Lol, you mean your mitochondrion definitely is , the rest of your mitochondria are dead ;).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 10, 2013
at 10:05 AM

My mitochondria definitely "is", because there is only one left :( the rest of them died.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 09:29 PM

I think there is too much emphasis on diet. Exercise is really what it's about, as mitchondria are our cells power houses.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 08:49 PM

Just for future reference Dr. Terry Wahls is a very good source for this. She happens to recommend the standard bodybuilding supplements for mitochondrial heatlh- creatine, coq10, and l-carnitine. The diet she recommends is broadly the best I've seen- lots of green and marine, and doesn't demonize carbs or nuts either. She's smart and no matter how much science backs her approach, you can't argue with her results.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 08:47 PM

She also recommends weight training.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 08:47 PM

Just for future reference Dr. Terry Wahls is a very good source for this. She happens to recommend the standard bodybuilding supplements for mitochondrial heatlh- creatine, coq10, and l-carnitine. The diet she recommends is broadly the best I've seen- lots of green and marine. She's smart and no matter how much science backs her approach, you can't argue with her results.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 08:02 PM

Haha. Right on, bro.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:57 PM

So take what he says with a grain of salt. Basically it's an individual mitochondria's function that determines your health, so vo2 max might be high for a marathon runner, but slow twitch muscle fibre it is not correlated with a reduced state like super fast twitch is. I agree with a lot of where he's coming from but he's just drawing the wrong conclusions. Anyways, +1.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:55 PM

I learned something really cool today and I c*ck slapped kruse with it today on his forums. The gist of it is that Mitochondrial redox state correlates with type IIb muscle fibres. Which means that super fast twitch muscles (glycotic) put you into what kruse would call a reduced state free of neolithic disease. Based on that I told him he is absolutely wrong for advocating against all HIIT training, since hiit training is going to definitely shift muscles from slow to super fast, but I still agree with him that endurance and CrossFit(as Ive seen it)will probably be detrimental for mitochondria

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:17 PM

That's a lot of fancy gobbledygook. Any studies supporting any of the "shoulds" and "supposed tos"?

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:00 PM

I have an unopened bottle of LifeExtension BioPQQ if anyone wants it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Hence, some people stay sick no matter how "good" their diet is but athletes can afford less than optimal diets and remain healthy and productive the majority of their lives (assuming they aren't injured).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:30 PM

Intensity of an exercise and cytochrome c release, which would mean that you are spot on when recommending HIIT for mitochondria. And cool info about the pqq, I've eaten parsley by the bunch before and I wasn't sure why I was craving it at the time, figured it was something in it, now I know what it may have been. +1

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:26 PM

I've seen mitochondrial function measured 2 ways. 1) they test your vo2 max I think, and this says how much oxygen you are actually using, which is represented as mitochondrial oxidative capacity (I think), the problem is that you could have more poorly functioning mitochondria in theory and still have a higher vo2 max. 2) the second method I know of is where they test for increases in cytochrome c which is supposed to be predictive of a mitochondria's energy producing abilities (I think) and from what I've read thus far there is a linear, possibly exponential positive relationship between

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:59 AM

Oops, I meant nitrosative :)

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:32 AM

This is a question on my mind as well, was told by Dr Jack Kruse actually to support my mitochondria. But beside taking Q10 supps, what can we eat in order to give them more energy? I know heart has a lot of Q10 in it.

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6 Answers

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3
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 13, 2013
at 12:47 PM

The central function of mitochondria is to produce ATP by oxidative phosphorylation to meet energy requirements.

(Oxidative phosphorylation is the final destination from a sum of chemical transformations whereby carbon fuels (e.g those derived from glucose, amino acids and fatty acids) are oxidised to release electrons. The transfer of electrons occurs from NADH or FADH2 which are 'charged' by oxidation reactions and then transferred to O2. In this way oxidative phosphorylation can generate 26 molecules of ATP from a single molecule of glucose once it is transformed to CO2 and H2O.)

As the rate of oxidative phosphorylation is proportional to the presence of ADP (consider ADP as an 'uncharged' ATP) its possible to measure mitochondrial function in response to ADP. In this way it is possible to measure the ratio of ATP/ADP and determine mitochondrial function - introduce ADP and observe how long it takes for ATP levels to rise.

Personally, I think mitochondrial function - all other things being equal - is associated with the number of mitochondria per cell. The more mitochondria available, the greater the rate of ATP production and therefore the faster the response to meet physiological needs. Also the greater and more sustained the response. Importantly, as more mitochondria are sharing the load, the lower the likelihood of proton leaks. Mitochondrial turnover is also important.

It would be easy enough to visualise mitochondrial density in cells obtained from a biopsy and use this as a surrogate marker of mitochondrial function.

Unfortunately, there is an evolutionary disadvantage to having an excess of mitochondria in cells just like there is a disadvantage in having hugely powerful muscles - there are energy costs. Consequently, mitochondrial production is tightly regulated. However, in this age of limitless calorie availability that is not an issue. The question is, how to over-ride the evolutionary constraints and unleash high numbers of mitochondria?

Presumably, any physiological condition that induces a requirement for increased ATP will unlock the mechanisms behind mitochondrial biogenesis. We know that HIT and resistance training increases mitochondrial numbers. So does caloric restriction. There is some evidence that quercetin may mediate its exercise enhancing capacity via an increase in mitochondrial numbers. Other than that google "mitochondrial biogenesis" or "mitochondrial fission".

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:56 PM

As the rate of oxidative phosphorylation is proportional to the presence of ADP (consider ADP as an 'uncharged' ATP) its possible to measure mitochondrial function in response to ADP. In this way it is possible to measure the ratio of ATP/ADP and determine mitochondrial function - introduce ADP and observe how long it takes for ATP levels to rise. Wouldn't this method only be practical for measuring slow twitch and possibly fast twitch muscle fibres? Super fast twitch muscles use glycation not phosphorylation for atp production. And does more mitochondria necessarily mean better function?

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 14, 2013
at 10:54 PM

Distinguish between cysotosolic and mitochondrial ATP production.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 13, 2013
at 02:56 PM

like what if the body has to make more because they aren't running as efficiently.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:40 PM

Okay I'm gonna quote something from a research paper and see if this helps clarify what I meant to say, "Type I (slow-twitch, oxidative) and type IIa (fast-twitch, glycolytic–oxidative) fibres are rich in mitochondria. They rely for their ATP production on oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, type IIb (fast-twitch, glycolytic) fibres, are mitochondria-poor and have a very effective glycolytic ATP synthesis." source: jp.physoc.org/content/565/3/855.full.pdf .

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 13, 2013
at 10:17 PM

Glycation is the binding of sugar molecules to proteins.. You mean glycolysis? Glycolysis occurs in the cytosol and not in mitochondria.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:39 PM

Okay I'm gonna quote something from a research paper and see if this helps clarify what I meant to say, "Type I (slow-twitch, oxidative) and type IIa (fast-twitch, glycolytic–oxidative) fibres are rich in mitochondria. They rely for their ATP production on oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, type IIb (fast-twitch, glycolytic) fibres, are mitochondria-poor and have a E. V. Isaeva and V. M. Shkryl contributed equally to this work. very effective glycolytic ATP synthesis." source: http://jp.physoc.org/content/565/3/855.full.pdf page 1.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 16, 2013
at 01:07 PM

Yea, I guess I'm still a little rusty on that, I just know that I've seen that Super Fast Twitch muscles produce like twice the ATP as slow Twitch muscles and I think I assumed that this meant their mitochondria were responsible for it since Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. I still don't fully understand the process by which cysotosolic atp production occurs, but I appreciate the feedback you're giving since it seems like you might know more about the inner-workings of the cell than me, which means I'll only walk away knowing more about the subject.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 17, 2013
at 01:33 AM

Try to invest some time reading about the basics using a biochemistry textbook. Some of it may seem intractable at first but if you persist it will pay off and a lot of the stuff you encounter online especially in forums like this will make a lot more sense.

2
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:41 PM

I'm guessing they're fairly efficient. I had metabolic testing done a few years back and my VO2 max was pretty high (about 69 ml/kg/min). In addition to CoQ10, just from a biochemistry point of view, I'd bet getting enough copper and iron is probably important for functioning mitochondria, since they're both part of the fourth complex of the electron transport chain in mitochondrial membranes. Cyanide is toxic because it sticks to iron on this protein and prevents the generation of ATP.

A cursory google search also turned this up:

"Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans"

2
757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:41 AM

Actually, people with ME/CFS test positive for low Q-10 as well as high oxidative/nitrodative stress. (I did a very advanced test in The Netherlands) so after diagnosing we should learn how to treat/adapt our diets to increase mitochondria abilities. I was told by my doc in The Netherlands to take Taurine and L-Carnithine. Plus Q-10 ofcourse. All of this (plus the weekly chicken heart) is supposed to do the job.

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:59 AM

Oops, I meant nitrosative :)

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:48 AM

http://www.jbc.org/content/284/34/22840.full.pdf

757f1ff864ea8f669d58e83cc1f1881b

(309)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:47 AM

Hello fellow Dutchman, these are some studies: http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Co-Q10_Energizes_Heart.shtml The studies positively show that Co-Q10 supplements can increase the levels in brain mitochondria. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21691752/ Taurine however doesn't seem to have a direct effect our mitochondria, but seems to prevent excessive oxidation within. L-Carnitine does seem to influence the mitochondria as they tested in several studies. The lacking thereof had a negative impact and was reversed by supplementing. But no humans involved yet, just rats.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:17 PM

That's a lot of fancy gobbledygook. Any studies supporting any of the "shoulds" and "supposed tos"?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 09:29 PM

I think there is too much emphasis on diet. Exercise is really what it's about, as mitchondria are our cells power houses.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on February 09, 2013
at 06:49 PM

Very simple, non-scientific answer but I think that increasing the efficiency/function of your mitochondria is what is referred to as "the training effect." So, one obvious way to do this would be to train.

Oh, but to answer your question I assume pretty healthy. I haven't gotten specific mitochondrial function tests done (though I don't know what that would be) other than competing in athletics and exercising, but I do get a pretty complete physical with a horomal panel bi-annually which objectively by conventional doctor standards puts me in supremely good health. I'm sure if I went to Kruse though, he'd immediately pronounce me as a mess, despite my subjectively feeling great and the opinions of conventional physicians.

I've been taking coQ10 (which I hear is very good for mitochondrial function) and weight training since I was 15. Been exercising all my life. NEver been overweight and eat a really good diet at least 95% of the time. I don't use stimulant aside for a cup of coffee rarely or a pre-workout maybe a dozen times in my life. The only "fat burners" I've used are a good diet, exercise, and l-carnitine. Don't know how much this really matters but have stayed within Sisson's insidious obesity carbohydrate spectrum since I was 15 as well at least 95% of the time. The only time in my life I think I've ever been over that was when I was in treatment for anoreixa and would have died without a calorie surplus#holyshitcarbscanbemedicine

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Hence, some people stay sick no matter how "good" their diet is but athletes can afford less than optimal diets and remain healthy and productive the majority of their lives (assuming they aren't injured).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:57 PM

So take what he says with a grain of salt. Basically it's an individual mitochondria's function that determines your health, so vo2 max might be high for a marathon runner, but slow twitch muscle fibre it is not correlated with a reduced state like super fast twitch is. I agree with a lot of where he's coming from but he's just drawing the wrong conclusions. Anyways, +1.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:55 PM

I learned something really cool today and I c*ck slapped kruse with it today on his forums. The gist of it is that Mitochondrial redox state correlates with type IIb muscle fibres. Which means that super fast twitch muscles (glycotic) put you into what kruse would call a reduced state free of neolithic disease. Based on that I told him he is absolutely wrong for advocating against all HIIT training, since hiit training is going to definitely shift muscles from slow to super fast, but I still agree with him that endurance and CrossFit(as Ive seen it)will probably be detrimental for mitochondria

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 09, 2013
at 08:02 PM

Haha. Right on, bro.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 09, 2013
at 06:12 AM

My mitochondria are very sick. I try to eat well to improve their well-being, but there are so many obstacles!

Just recently I have made a discovery that for some maybe not that new, but for me it was a revelation - my body/mitochondria, etc. need fresh foods with every meal be it carrot juice or whatever - but fresh/raw.

Live and learn.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:15 PM

I'm not sure how you'd test your mitochondria, but certainly the ability to do work - especially resistance/HIIT workouts both tests and improves mitochondria count and function. IF helps with autophagy and gives them a break from the constant glucose burning in a SAD.

Try some PQQ and see if it has any difference. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrroloquinoline_quinone

If you like parsley and have a juicer, juice a bunch with a couple of carrots and you'll get a large dose of PQQ. It does have psoralens, so don't over do it. (Psoralens increase UV light sensitivity so stay out of the sun for a while when you do this.)

It's also found in kiwi/papaya, without the antinutrient, but of course with loads of sugar.

Or you can buy some expensive supplements. A bunch of parsley is less than $2 at the supermarket, the answer for me is braindead simple. :) And kiwi are tasty as part of a carb-backload.

Also certain types of exercises have a profound effect on mitochondria, so do your weight training and HIITs.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 09, 2013
at 07:00 PM

I have an unopened bottle of LifeExtension BioPQQ if anyone wants it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:26 PM

I've seen mitochondrial function measured 2 ways. 1) they test your vo2 max I think, and this says how much oxygen you are actually using, which is represented as mitochondrial oxidative capacity (I think), the problem is that you could have more poorly functioning mitochondria in theory and still have a higher vo2 max. 2) the second method I know of is where they test for increases in cytochrome c which is supposed to be predictive of a mitochondria's energy producing abilities (I think) and from what I've read thus far there is a linear, possibly exponential positive relationship between

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:30 PM

Intensity of an exercise and cytochrome c release, which would mean that you are spot on when recommending HIIT for mitochondria. And cool info about the pqq, I've eaten parsley by the bunch before and I wasn't sure why I was craving it at the time, figured it was something in it, now I know what it may have been. +1

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:35 PM

Careful guys, April has been known to give out mislabeled bottles of nutrients that are addictive and leave you coming back for more. The bottles become progressively more expensive!! Caution!. ;)

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