It is well known among researchers that mitochondrial genetic or primary mitochondrial disorders contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction as well as secondary or acquired degenerative disorders. This review concentrates on nongenetic or acquired mechanisms that could explain mitochondrial dysfunction and their replacement treatment with natural supplements and combinations of natural supplements, including vitamins, minerals, enzyme cofactors, antioxidants, metabolites, transporters, membrane-type phospholipids, and other natural supplements. Combinations of supplements can reduce significantly the fatigue and other symptoms associated with chronic disease and can naturally restore mitochondrial function, even in long-term patients with intractable fatigue. By Garth Nicholsen, PhD, published in Alternative Therapies Health Med. 2014, Vol. 20, Suppl. 1.
Loss of function in mitochondria, the key organelle responsible for cellular energy production, can result in the excess fatigue and other symptoms that are common complaints in almost every chronic disease.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic disease
1. Neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Friedreich’s ataxia;
2. Cardiovascular diseases: atherosclerosis and other heart and vascular conditions; diabetes and metabolic syndrome;
3. Autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes;
4. Neurobehavioral and psychiatric diseases: autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar and mood disorders; gastrointestinal disorders;
5. Fatiguing illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War Illnesses;
6. Musculoskeletal diseases: fibromyalgia and skeletal muscle hypertrophy/atrophy;
7. Other: cancer and chronic infections.
At the molecular level, a reduction in mitochondrial function occurs as a result of the following changes: (1) a loss of maintenance of the electrical and chemical transmembrane potential of the inner mitochondrial membrane, (2) alterations in the function of the electron transport chain, or (3) a reduction in the transport of critical metabolites into mitochondria.
In turn, these changes result in a reduced efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation and a reduction in production of adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP). Several components of this system require routine replacement, and this need can be facilitated with natural supplements.
Oral natural supplements containing membrane phospholipids, CoQ10 , microencapsulated NADH, L -carnitine, α-lipoic acid, and other nutrients can help restore mitochondrial function and reduce intractable fatigue in patients with chronic illnesses. The combination of these supplements may result in a safe and effective method to reduce fatigue and help restore quality of life.
Download the complete study for a complete list of the clinical applications and clinical trial evidence for oral replacement supplements, such as L -carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid (α-lipoic acid [1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid]), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 [ubiquinone]), reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), membrane phospholipids, and other supplements.