Mitochondria, Shmitochondria

Oh brother, what made me think I could give you a ‘synopsis’ of a scientific article???  Anyways, this is the main idea, and when the article is available online (from Nutrition Action Healthletter,) I will give you a link to it.

“Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells.  They convert food into energy, which the body uses to live.”  Some researchers speculate that, over a lifetime, damage to the mitochondria may be the ultimate cause of aging.  Weakened mitochondria may leave people more susceptible to several serious aging-related diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sarcopenia (muscle wasting with age.)  

So the question is, can you protect or restore your mitochondria?  Several studies have been done (and fairly large, well-documented studies) that show that you can increase the mitochondria in your cells by 50% in just 6 weeks by aerobic exercise OR strength training for about 20 minutes 3 times a week.  Most of these studies were done on older individuals (60-70 years.)  This just seemed remarkable to me.

Of course, we all already knew that exercise was a key to prevention of diabetes, heart disease, etc.  But the hope that increasing my mitochondria will slow the aging process?  Well, that just makes me want to go jump on my bike!  Of course, as I told my friend Robin, the article didn’t say anything about improving the appearance of your neck  ;=(  

Well, all, I have a busy day of getting ready to leave for Thanksgiving.  This is going to be a grand experiment in family gatherings.  I am going to my dad’s house and am going to cook Thanksgiving dinner there.  I have my menu plan, and lots of good tasting low calorie recipes to try.  Stuffing and mashed sweet potatoes from Hungry Girl, A pumpkin turtle pie from the W.W. magazine, and my cherry popovers for breakfast (see sidebar.)  I’m gonna make some pumpkin custard to snack on on Wednesday.  I even googled a recipe for low fat gravy.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.  We have so very many things to be thankful for in this great country of ours.

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5 thoughts on “Mitochondria, Shmitochondria

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Debbie! Sounds like a wonderful dinner you have planned, I’m drooling all over my keyboard here.

    That’s interesting about exercise and mitochondria. Maybe that’s why it helps with things like insulin resistance. I hear ya about the neck, though–I had to look at my teeth in a small hand mirror at the dentist’s office the other day, and I thought to myself, “Whoa…what happened???” It looked a bit deflated. Oh well.

  2. Oh my gosh I can remember in 7th grade science class having to draw a picture of mitochondria with colored pencils! Funny how one word can take you back to memories you thought were long forgotten!

    Can I come to your dad’s house for TDay???? Sounds delish!!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!!! 🙂

  3. I wish my family had the gumption to make some HEALTHY dishes for Thanksgiving! I hope everything was delicious, and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

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