If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about mitochondria and how they’re affected by the ketogenic diet, I have just the article for you. DoctorMyhill.co.uk has an article titled Ketogenic Diet – a connection between mitochondria and diet, written by cardiologist, Dr. Gabriela Segura.
The format of the page isn’t the friendliest and I found myself squinting and adjusting the font size a few times to get it right, but I learned some interesting things that I hadn’t known before. I already knew that mitochondria are where the Kreb cycle occurs, fats are broken down into energy, and ketones are generated, but that was about it.
Did you know that mitochondria have their own DNA?
Mitochondria also have interesting characteristics which differentiate them from all other structural parts of our cells. For instance, they have their own DNA (referred as mtDNA) which is separate from the widely known DNA in the nucleus (referred as n-DNA). Mitochondrial DNA comes for the most part from the mother line, which is why mitochondria is also considered as your feminine life force. This mtDNA is arranged in a ring configuration and it lacks a protective protein surrounding, leaving its genetic code vulnerable to free radical damage. If you don’t eat enough animal fats, you can’t build a functional mitochondrial membrane which will keep it healthy and prevent them from dying.
And that this DNA is more susceptible to damage because they don’t have the protective histones that cellular DNA has?
Since mtDNA is less protected than nDNA because it has no “protein” coating (histones), it is exquisitely vulnerable to injury by destabilizing molecules such as neurotoxic pesticides, herbicides, excitotoxins, heavy metals and volatile chemicals among others. This increasees free radical production to the extreme which then leads to oxidative stress damaging our mitochondria and its DNA.
Head on over to Ketogenic Diet – a connection between mitochondria and diet to read more!
*Image taken from here