Your level of energy every day is determined by how much ATP your mitochondria create so that the proper enzymes can be activated to make our bodies move and function properly. This can effect your healthy weight loss since you may not have the energy to commit 100% to your exercise for calorie burning workouts.
The amount of ATP your mitochondria create is determined by genetics, exercise level, your nutritional status and thyroid activity. Of course you can’t change your genetics, but as we always talk about you can dictate and control your exercise and nutritional status.
I bet you didn’t know that as you age the number of mitochondria in your cells decreases in efficiency by about 5-8 percent every ten years. This is one of the main reasons why you have less energy the older you get. One easy way to reverse this is by exercising. Those who exercise have more mitochondria, which means more potential for energy and the ability to burn more calories for healthy weight loss.
Your thyroid also plays a role in mitochondria activity and for those that have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism knows what I am talking about. Those with hypothyroidism can suffer a 60 percent reduction in ATP production and suffer from low energy and fatigue. Iodine deficiency has a correlation with low thyroid function and some believe up to 50 percent of the population is iodine deficient. The reason for this is because changes in our food intake, eating patterns, and food production methods. Iodine levels have been decreasing since the 1970’s. Since iodine is required to produce thyroid hormones and we are consuming less iodine in our food the result is hypothyroidism or low thyroid activity. This doesn’t bode well for healthy weight loss. In fact weight loss may stop all together and weight gain starts to occur. So take a good whole food multivitamin that contains iodine preferably from sea vegetables such as kelp to make sure you are not causing low thyroid activity because of your nutritional habits.
Another factor that contributes to low ATP production is oxidative damage to the mitochondria. A deficiency of antioxidants increases this rate of oxidative damage to the mitochondria. Several antioxidant nutrients can be used to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage. Some common powerful antioxidants are green tea and coffeeberry forte.
I already talked about how our food intake, eating patterns and food production methods are influencing our thyroid production and deficiency in iodine. Well other deficiencies that are common include niacin, biotin, pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin (B2), manganese and zinc. These are commonly deficient due to our poor diets and nutrient depleted foods. Even more reason why a quality whole food based multivitamin is essential for your mitochondria to function properly and produce plenty of ATP for energy.
One last nutrient I want to touch on that isn’t required for essential health, but has been proven effective in promoting healthy mitochondrial function is Alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid is a cofactor in the Krebs cycle, which is part of your body’s ATP system. This nutrient also stimulates the production of glutathione, which is a mitochondrial antioxidant. Research has shown that supplementation of alpha lipoic acid in humans may increase mitochondrial function and reduce mitochondrial damage.
As you can see many factors play a role for you to succeed in healthy weight loss. It is also hard to consistently know that you are eating enough nutrient rich foods to consume all these nutrients each and every day. That is why a whole food based multivitamin that contains many of these nutrients is essential for your healthy weight loss. A quality whole based multivitamin isn’t going to directly burn more calories for you like a weight loss supplement may do, but what it does is allow your body to function optimally so that you can exercise harder, create more ATP and burn more calories, which then can lead to healthy weight loss.
Make a resolution right now to make sure you are providing the best opportunity for your body to produce ATP and optimize your body to assist with healthy weight loss.
You don’t have to take a quality whole food based multivitamin, but maybe you’ll want to maximize your body’s ATP production so you can have more energy and lose more weight.
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Jayson Hunter is R&D Director for Prograde Nutrition and a Registered Dietitian with over 11 years of experience teaching and educating individuals on how to live a healthier life through nutritional modifications and proper supplementation.
Short KR, Bigelow ML, Kahl J, et al. Decline in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function with aging in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005; 102: 5618-5623
Mesnhikova EF, Ritov VB, Fairfull L, et al. Effects of exercise on mitochondrial content and function in aging human skeletal muscle. J Gerontol: Bio Sci 2006; 61:534-540
Wei YH, Lee HC. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial DNA mutation, and impairment of antioxidant enzymes in aging. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002; 227:671-82
Liu J. The effects and mechanisms of mitochondrial nutrient alpha-lipoic acid on improving age associated mitochondrial and cognitive dysfunction; an overview. Neurochem Res. 2008 Jan; 33(1): 194-203
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