The Mitochondrial Decline Theory of Aging

The Mitochondrial Decline Theory of aging is similar to some of the others for one simple reason.

It centers on our cells.

However, unlike some of the other theories, it involves what is referred to as “organelles” and their role in the name of the theory, our mitochondria.

As we all begin to age, especially as we pass the age of 55, we are all becoming a lot more interested in the aging process in general.

What makes this theory different from most all of the others is ADP.

The Major Contentions With the Mitochondrial Decline Theory

While most of us may have never heard of ATP, commonly referred to as Adenosine Triphosphate, it is absolutely essential for us to live.

In fact, without it working at full power, this aging process we are going through becomes a lot more difficult.

However, here is where the real challenge comes in; we store very small amounts of it in our body.

Here are the major contentions of the Mitochondrial Decline Theory of aging

  • Mitochondria are power producing organelles
  • These organelles are literally found in every cell in our body
  • They are also found in every organ in our body
  • Their main job responsibility is to create ATP
  • It does this task with the help of some key nutrients
  • We store very little of it in our body

While these are the key contentions, the fact that very little is stored in our body is perhaps the most critical, especially as we get older.

So what exactly is Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP, and why is so important to us.

Some of The Reasons

Here are some of the reasons:

  • It is considered the key “life giving chemical” in all of us
  • It helps to generate every single movement we make every second of our lives
  • It also helps to generate every thought and action that we have
  • We need a lot of it to keep living and operating
  • Again, we store very little of it in our body

So how much do we actually need to remain not only healthy, but to help us with this aging process?

It is estimated that if you are a 200 pound man, you would need 95-100 pounds daily.

Wow—thank about that for just a minute. That was 95-100 pounds each and every day.

Because of all of this, the major contention behind the Mitochondrial Decline Theory of aging is that we must keep our mitochondria as healthy and effective as possible.

More Very Interesting Facts

Here are some more very interesting facts about our mitochondria.

  • They are minuet sized capsules in our cells
  • They convert the chemicals from the food we eat into ATP
  • They produce  95%  of all the ATP our body uses every day
  • Some of their DNA is different than the DNA in our cells
  • They may control their own destiny.

Wow—now take a step back and digest this statement.

They may control their own destiny.

In the other theories of aging centering on our cells, they can either only divide so many times before they die, or they are under constant attack by free radicals.

If you ever look at a picture of them, you will see several of them in each cell which is also not well known by most of us.

Here are some examples of the number of mitochondria in some key organs which will help us understand the Mitochondrial Decline Theory of aging.

  • Our heart contains over 5,000 plus mitochondria
  • Our liver contains somewhere between 1500-2000 of them
  • Our basic arm muscles contain about 500
  • They can replicate independently

It is this fact that they can replicate independently, that makes this theory even more interesting.

Can They Actually Replicate?

It is believed that under certain conditions and circumstances, it may be possible to increase the number of them in each of our cells.

This is important at any age if this theory is true, but as we get older, it may become critical.

And here is why.

Remember the amount that an average 200 pound man needs—95-100 pounds daily. Here is how much we use in everyday activities.

Let’s use a basic exercise like walking. With walking we may use about ½ pound per minute and that is just basic walking.

If it gets more strenuous, we can use as much as 1.1 to 1.2 units per minute.

If we exercise for 10 minutes, we have utilized about 1/10 of what we need daily.

How To Increase Their Numbers With The Mitochondrial Decline Theory of Aging

However, remember that the Mitochondrial Decline Theory of aging is different in that mitochondria can regenerate independent of our cells.

Because of this, here are ways we may actually increase their numbers, even as we get older.

  • Reduce our caloric intake by eating healthier foods
  • Get involved in some short term exercise other than walking
  • Protect ourselves from free radical damages.

There are a couple of key contentions with these points.

Much like a couple of the other theories of aging, cells can and will be damaged by too many calories or over feeding them.

We can protect them at our ages by underfeeding them or feeding them the right nutrients that can help our mitochondria to replicate.

While exercise of the simplest form burns them, intense exercise really burns them.

However, it can help them replicate as well.

The right nutrients can also help and they include the following.

  • Vitamins B2 and B3
  • Lipoic acid
  • CoQ10
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine

Vitamins B2 and B3 help with them produce power, and Lipoic acid helps to reverse their decline. It may also help them to regenerate.

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant but it also helps transport our electrons. Acetyl-L-carnitine is also believed to help our mitochondria replicate and it may be the key nutrient.


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