Mitochondria and Circadian Rhythm

 In Blog

Mitochondria are found in high quantities in most of our cells and are commonly known as the powerhouse of the cell due to their energy producing capacity. The energy producing capacity comes from respiratory protein complexes found in the inner layer of the mitochondria. Mitochondria have a very high mutation rate and this mutation rate is associated to how well energy can be produced. Unfortunately, mitochondrial DNA damage changes its respiratory proteins, thus affecting not only their energy capacity but also the cells and tissues ability to make the proper free radical signals. This is called heteroplasmy. Heteroplasmy triggers an inflammatory signal in the cell to activate a regeneration program, so the cells can repair themselves. So this is a good thing, however, if the heteroplasmy rate is too high, the cells cannot activate the regeneration program and disease ensues. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited maternally and codes for these energy genes.

Circadian signaling is what connects the inflammatory signal to the regeneration programs. The body works on a 24-hour rhythm refereed to as circadian rhythm that produces specific stimulus and signals at specific times called circadian signaling. What would happen if the circadian rhythm and signaling were altered? The cells and tissues would not be able to activate the regeneration programs and would go on with malfunctioning mutated mitochondria. Interestingly, the brain pays attention to all of this via light frequencies (thin: sunlight). Light frequencies picked up by the skin are connected to our visual system and pineal gland (think: production of melatonin) through our blood circulation (think: Vitamin D3). They are also connected to the gut through the vagus nerve.

In summary, a normal circadian rhythm is necessary for the inflammation-regeneration programs to function properly; this includes natural sunlight exposure. An alteration in such can cause permanent damage to the mitochondria, leading to changes deep in our biochemistry.



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