Mitochondria have risen to an unprecedented peak of popularity. They are particularly in vogue with Paleo diet enthusiasts, runners and bodybuilders, people interested in stress management, and researchers looking into the mechanisms of aging and chronic diseases such as diabetes, and Alzheimers’ disease. A recent Ted talk featured Dr. Terry Wahls and her book called “Minding my Mitochondria” on the role of mitochondria in Multiple Sclerosis.
Recently, researchers have been observing electromagnetic field effects in these quantum-processing mitochondria. Dr. Doug Wallace, a pioneer in the study of mitochondrial DNA, who made the startling discovery that mitochondria possess their own genetic material and that all the mitochondria in an individual’s body are inherited from one’s mother, not father. He and his colleagues then reconstructed the origin and ancient migration patterns of women using variations in mitochondrial DNA sequences, allowing us to trace the first “eve” of humanity.
Dr. Wallace calls mitochondria “Portals of Chi”. It is on this very subtle level of vital energy or “chi” that homeopathy works, which explains homeopathy’s interest in mitochondria: they hold the key to understanding the mechanisms of homeopathic intervention.
In my webinar series on this topic, I explore what this mitochondrial research means for homeopathy. Before going into greater detail, and to provide some background for the webinar, here is a short introduction to what mitochondria are and what they do.
WHAT ARE MITOCHONDRIA?
Mitochondria are the sites of fundamental quantum energy exchange processes critical to life in every cell of every living organism.
The first moment of evolutive life on earth was the moment when a single-celled organism capable of translating energy united with a bacterial cell.
This union of two independent organisms formed the basis of the eukaryotic cell (one that has membrane enclosed organelles such as mitochondria and nucleus) that could now evolve and adapt and allow all the life forms that exist on the planet to emerge.
Mitochondria live in the cells of all evolved living organisms acting as the cell’s power producers. (Only bacteria are not eukaryotic and do not have mitochondria.) They convert energy into forms that are usable by the cell. Located in the cytoplasm, mitochondria are the sites of cellular respiration that generate fuel for the cell’s activities.
Mitochondria are also involved in innumerable other cell processes such as cell division, growth, cell death (apoptosis), adaptation and evolution.
We can see the sausage-shaped micrometer-sized mitochondria sitting inside living cells using electron microscopes. The mitochondrion has two membranes, the inner one forms folded structures (the cristae) extending into its inner matrix. Each membrane consists of layers of protein and lipid (fat) molecules.
MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTIONS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE
This figure (mitochondrial functions) illustrates the most essential process to a complex living organism performed by the mitochondria within their internal “cristae”: the Krebs cycle.
The Krebs cycle is a series of chemical reactions in which carbon dioxide is produced and hydrogen ions and electrons are removed from carbon atoms (oxidation), also called the tri-carboxylic acid cycle (TCA).
The mitochondria take up oxygen like little furnaces to transform food into energy-yielding processes resulting in the formation of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) stored in all muscle cells.
Researchers have established that short intensive workouts, like 10 minutes a day at 100% of V02 max are the most beneficial to our mitochondria and our longevity. Training beyond 60 minutes per workout does not produce greater benefits, as mitochondrial development ceases after an hour. If you are a runner, or doing endurance training, these findings could be of great interest to maximize the efficiency of your workout time and efforts. There are numerous workouts based on this research such as: metabolic workouts, workout finishers, and fat burning workouts on the web.
Although the energy producing process is essential to life, it is but one of the functions of these incredible organelles. Stay tuned to learn about the role mitochondria play in psychological stress, adaptation, evolution, death and disease.
In upcoming posts, we will take a look at more recent discoveries and consider the dynamic, quantum dimensions of mitochondria.
Judyann McNamara – ND, DHom, CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. Visit her profile page in our professional directory to learn more.