Healthy Beginnings

The Power of Enzymes and Mitochondria in Promoting Healthy Aging

In order to start the process of achieving optimal health, you first must know what you are up against. Avoiding environmental toxicity and oxidative stress, as well as embracing healthful eating habits, are key in keeping your immune system razor sharp. So, what are the viable nutrients that you need to keep your metabolism in check and protect you from ill health as you age? To learn, become a citizen scientist – meaning study and learn – or call your local naturopathic or homeopathic doctor, who have extensive experience in this area.

Enzymes

One of the key ingredients that assists with the elimination of toxins in the body includes enzymes. Enzymes are energized protein molecules that assist your body in breaking down food in preparation for digestion, metabolization and elimination. In their primary role, enzymes are catalysts, which are substances that accelerate and precipitate the hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions in the body that control life’s processes.

As we age, the amount of enzymes in our system are gradually used up and need to be added nutritionally. A quality digestive enzyme is an invaluable asset to digestion and elimination. While the body manufactures a supply of enzymes, it also can and should obtain enzymes from food. Raw food will produce the most bene t as heat destroys enzymes.

Mitochondria

Oxidative stress leads to aging and system breakdown. But, what is oxidative stress? The term can be broken down into three basic categories: infections, toxins and biological factors that disrupt the body’s homeostasis. When your body is out of balance (homeostasis), oxidative stress and inflammation occur. Inflammation and free radicals damage the RNA and DNA contained in every cell in your body. This leads to mitochondrial damage (mitochondria is the energy-producing portion in every cell in your body). When the mitochondria are damaged, the cell can no longer efficiently produce energy for itself, it reverts to an inefficient method of energy production called “glycolysis,” which causes the body to depend on sugar for fuel. This is why so many people have a sugar addiction – their body is out of balance and crying for fuel! In this condition, the organs and body systems can no longer work properly. This will lead to more DNA damage, less energy (a common complaint) and the conversion of normal cells to cancer cells, as cancer loves sugar.

So, what to do?

Start building healthy mitochondria. Simply put, eat more fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean-vegetarian diet has been shown to produce the most health benefits. Research has shown that the antioxidants and phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables will build and protect your mitochondria. Antioxidants and phytonutrients promote healthy aging by fueling the mitochondria and providing the body with the metabolic function to keep the body systems working optimally.

The old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is actually true, but it takes more than one apple in our current environment to maintain healthy mitochondria. So, what are you waiting for? Get on a health kick and be at your best!

Dr. Glenn A. Hausenfluke, ND, has been practicing alternative medicine for more than 40 years. He is the founder of Mitochi’s MitoMungo, an all-natural dietary supplement that provides several pounds of fruits and vegetables in a 1-ounce liquid shot. For more information, call Dr. Hausenfluke at 775-338-3955.