Cellular Energy and its Role in Fatigue, Cellular Health and Detoxification
I think it is self-evident that a cell needs energy to carry out its essential functions throughout the day. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is needed to fuel the cell to not just carry out the intricate processes such as enzyme production, hormone and vitamin / mineral utilization, but is also crucial to the production of GSH (glutathione) which is essential to the cells detoxification process.
The most obvious symptom of low cell energy is….low energy. Imagine that! Lol This is no laughing matter though. In fact fatigue and lack of energy is a pandemic across the United States and around the globe. Many times this can be associated with other symptoms such as weight loss resistance, brain fog, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and others. If you suffer with hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) you probably know these symptoms all too well. The reason these symptoms arrive together is because in most cases they are driven by the same cause. Inflammation on the cell membranes, which was discussed in our earlier blog Cellular Inflammation and Hormone Dysregulation – What Can We Do About It? This inflammation is driven by sugar, bad fats, and toxins. We have discussed in earlier blogs the need to reduce the sources of inflammation and diet is a big part of that. We then need to remove toxins at the cellular level but we need energy to do that. This is why raising cellular energy, in some cases, may be the first thing that needs to be done before we can help a person restore normal cell function and have the necessary energy to go through any detoxification process.
Energy (ATP) in the cell is produced in the mitochondria (an organelle inside the cell). The mitochondria have an outer membrane just as the cell has its phospholipid bilayer. When the cell and mitochondrial membranes are inflamed it makes getting the good stuff into the cell necessary to carry out the cells activities. In other words when the cell is inflamed the cell has a difficult time hearing the messages from T3 (the active thyroid hormone) which tell it to produce ATP. It also has a hard time bringing in necessary vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal cellular health and function. Approximately three molecules of ATP are necessary to produce one molecule of GSH (glutathione). Glutathione is the body’s own natural antioxidant. It is several thousand times more potent than vitamin C. Very powerful and necessary in sufficient quantities to carry out normal cellular detoxification.
So in a nutshell as we are reducing sources of inflammation and cleaning up our diet it is also important to keep an eye on cellular energy. In some cases it will naturally rise as we reduce inflammation on the cell membranes. Hormone receptors begin to hear better and nutrients necessary for cellular function are more easily transported across the cell and mitochondrial membranes leading to the production of more ATP to support cell energy requirements. When working with clients I approach increasing energy in two ways. One is to increase the number of mitochondria (the organelles associated with ATP production), and the other is to get the necessary precursors into the cell that assist with ATP production. I use a product called eNRG, which provides excellent support on both of these fronts. Stay tuned, in my next blog I will be digging deeper into the reduction of cellular inflammation, a necessary event before true healing can begin.
– Dr. Steve Harrison