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Mitochondria Decay, Aging and Weight Loss

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  • Mitochondrial decay may be the underlying cause of aging
  • With age we lose mitochondria
  • Mitochondria function is critical for weight maintenance and optimal weight loss

Mitochondria and Declining Metabolism
Most of us understand that as we get older, our metabolism slows. What is not generally understood is why or how, or what you can do to prevent it.
The easiest way to understand what a slowing metabolism means is to understand that you produce LESS ENERGY. When you produce less energy, your body requires less food.

A principle reason for weight gain is that as we age we produce less energy but have the same energy intake from food.
Mitochondria are the tiny power plants within each cell that convert sugar into energy. Each cell has over 1000 mitochondria when you are young, but less than half that number by the time you are 50.

Mitochondria Dysfunction and Weight Gain
New research shows a critical link to decay of the mitochondria and aging and weight control.
Sugar and Fat require the mitochondria to be converted to energy. Metabolic Syndrome is characterized by chronic weight gain and insulin resistance.  When cells become resistant to insulin, the conversion of sugar and fat to energy becomes inefficient - it takes a lot of insulin to get little energy. This inefficiency changes  the ratio of ATP production to oxygen consumption, leading to an increase in free radical production within the mitochondria. New research shows that as the mitochondria sustain damage a pattern of weight gain sets in. The latest research indicates mitochondrial dysfunction may be at the heart of metabolic syndrome.
Several new studies also indicate that western eating habits induce changes in how the mitochondria metabolize energy which leads to excessive weight gain

As we age, mitochondria become both less numerous and less efficient. This means your body produces less energy and your metabolism slows. Preventing mitochondrial decay is critical to both longevity and sustained weight loss. Further, diets high in rich food have been demonstrated to induce damage to mitochondrial function.

Out of Control Hunger and Lack of Sleep

Eat less: Eating less reduces the rate of mito decay.
Exercise: Exercise increases mito production
Take Resveratol: Resveratol prevents mito decay.
Gastaldi G, Giacobino JP, Ruiz J.
Service d'endocrinologie, diabétologie et métabolisme, Département de médecine interne, CHUV, Lausanne. Giacomo.Gastaldi@chuv.c
Emilie Chanseaume3, Corinne Malpuech-Brugère4, Véronique Patrac3, Guy Bielicki5, Paulette Rousset3, Karine Couturier6, Jérôme Salles3, Jean-Pierre Renou5, Yves Boirie3,4,7 and Béatrice Morio3,*
INRA, UMR1019, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000, France; 4 University Clermont 1, UFR Médecine, UMR1019, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000, France; 5 INRA, STIM Unit, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000, France; 6 Inserm, E0221, Grenoble, F-38000, France; Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, F-38000, France; and 7 CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000, France
Reduced expression of mitochondrial frataxin in mice exacerbates diet-induced obesity.

Pomplun D, Voigt A, Schulz TJ, Thierbach R, Pfeiffer AF, Ristow M.
Department of Clinical Nutrition, German Institute of Human Nutrition, D-14558 Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Germany.