The Role of Healthy Mitochondria

Mitochondria are the cell’s source of energy and play an essential role in properly functioning cells. Mitochondria are central to bioenergetics — the biological processes that create energy to power cells. Healthy mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy molecule required by our bodies’ organs to function. Mitochondria also produce a low level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) — a by-product of cellular respiration that results in oxidative stress.

When mitochondria do not function properly, the result is reduced ATP production and increased ROS production, with an accompanying increase in oxidative stress. The increased ROS that unhealthy mitochondria produce can damage a variety of cellular components, including DNA, proteins, lipids and the mitochondria themselves, which can result in the disruption of normal biological processes and disease.4, 9, 11, 15, 18, 20, 26

Disease Associated with Energy Loss and Oxidative Stress

Disease Continuum JPG