Paleo and Mitochondrial Disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 05, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Has anyone heard/read anything about Paleo helping with Mitochondrial Disease? I've read that Paleo does "help with mitochondrial function" but I don't know enough about what that means, or the Disease itself, to make any conclusions on my own. A niece of my friend has MD and is making some progress with a new drug, but I'd love to share any info about how her diet could also help.



on July 05, 2011
at 09:12 PM

Robb Wolf answered a question on this in a podcast. I am not sure which episode, sorry that is not a lot of help. You could try the search engine on his site. I think the question was about a child being diagnosed with some type of MD and if diet could help the child with sports performance.



on July 05, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I'm new to Paleo, but the reason I've made the lifestyle change is that my naturopath suspects I have some sort of Mitochondrial dysfunction. I have yet to be diagnosed with anything. I've been Paleo 5 weeks, but unfortunately don't have a whole lot to report to you... Other than the fact that my DR thinks I will be aided by the dietary changes.

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3 Answers



on July 06, 2011
at 01:39 PM

A ketogenic diet is promising in this area, as it improves mitochondrial function.



on June 02, 2013
at 11:33 PM

I would suspect that coconut oil/ MCT's would be very powerful in the treatment of mitochondrial disease, because if I remember correctly they can actually increase mitochondrial function by up to 20%.


on June 02, 2013
at 11:09 PM

I have a mitochondrial disease and have been trying to self-treat since I found out when I was a teenager. Yes, I feel that without sugar/carbs my energy levels are more stable and my body functions much more effectively following the paleo diet. I have been paleo for almost a year now and when I make a mistake it immediately throws me for a spin. The only thing is that I have to be extra careful to avoid eating too much fat/cholesterol, that messes with my digestive system and can completely deplete my energy levels. Just as importantly I make sure to exercise daily, strength and cardio, drink plenty of water, keep my electrolytes in balance and not over eat/sleep. Your body processes calories/nutrients more efficiently if you keep a slight deficit and also consuming too much my body has a hard time keeping up and I end up bogged down that way too. Caffeine in moderation on those random off days but also watch out for consuming too much acid. Everything in moderation.

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