Powerful Mitochondrial Components for Brain Energy

How the Cellular Mitochondria functions to Help Produce Energy 

The mitochondria makes energy by using important compounds. The biochemical energy is used by the body for the beating of the heart, breathing and exercising muscles. The body needs the energy to function at its best mentally and physically. Glucose, as a food for the mitochondria is utilized in the Krebs Cycle pathway into 2 important compounds, Nicotinic Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH) and pyruvate. They travel within the mitochondria and when oxygen is available are used to manufacture ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also an essential cofactor in the electron transport chain to make energy. 

The brain uses the most amount of the energy in the body and a great deal is used by the neurons (Watts ME et al, 2018). It is known that the brain’s energy consumption uses more than 20% of the oxygen metabolism. It has been projected that neurons use 75% to 80% of the energy that the brain produces (Hyder F et al, 2013). 

Neurons are nerve cells found in the brain and nervous system. They receive “sensory” input from the outside environment and send it to the brain. They also send signals to other nerve cells, muscles to contract, and also to the glands to function. 

Besides its involvement in making energy, CoQ10 operates as a key antioxidant within the mitochondria and the lipid membranes. Providing oral doses of CoQ10 has been shown to increase the levels of CoQ10 in the brain and the brain’s mitochondria (Matthews RT et al, 1998). In addition, CoQ10 has a neuroprotective effect. 

NADH is a compound found in all living cells, but is used in the energy pathways to convert fuel into cellular energy. When NADH is at normal levels the brain functions more efficiently (Fricker, 2018). NADH helps cognitive function and mental alertness while protecting neurons (Massudi, 2012). 

It has been shown that the combination of CoQ10 and NADH has been beneficial to energy levels.

An 8 week, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study was performed administering oral CoQ10 and NADH in individuals that had fatigue problems (Castro Marrero J et al, 2015). 

The study showed that in those that took CoQ10 and NADH there was a significant improvement in fatigue according to the use of a Fatigue Impact Scale total score (p<0.05) compared to the placebo group. In addition, the measurements of NAD+/NADH (p<0.001), CoQ10 (p<0.05), ATP (p<0.05) were significantly higher. Also oxidative stress was significantly lower (p<0.05) in this group. The results indicated to the investigators that the combination of CoQ10 and NADH were beneficial on energy levels and biochemical markers. 

Individuals with a health condition and/or are on prescription medication should check with their health care provider prior to changing taking supplements. 

In summary, the mitochondria is important since it makes energy provide fuel to the body so that it can function at its best mentally and physically. A large amount of the energy that is made is used by the brain, particularly for neuronal activity. NADH and coenzyme Q10 are important components necessary for the production of energy and is useful in providing support to the brain.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not for the purpose of marketing any products. 

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