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CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

The Force: The Origins and Evolution of Mitochondria in Human Physiology

1

Let’s Review Some Cell Biology

6

The Evolution of the Eukaryotic Cell

9

Mitochondria: They Are the Force

12

The Basics of Mitochondria

15

The Basics of Cellular Respiration and Oxidative Phosphorylation

17

A

Game of Hot Potato: The Electron Transport Chain (ETC)

19

ATP Synthase: Coupling the ETC with Oxidative Phosphorylation

26

Mitochondrial DNA: A Curious Relic of Ancient History

28

A

Radical Signal: The Positive Side of Free Radicals

34

Mitochondrial Mutations: The Beginning of the End

37

Discarded Theories of Aging

43

The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging

47

Extending Maximum Life Span in Mammals

53

Degenerative Diseases and the Eventual End

54

It’s Getting Hot in Here: Uncoupling the Proton Gradient

57

CHAPTER TWO

The Dark Side of the Force: Health Conditions Linked to Mitochondrial Dysfunction

63

A

Review of Bioenergetics

64

Food and Oxygen: The Ingredients for Producing Energy

66

ATP Production and Turnover

68

The Role of Mitochondria in Cardiovascular Disease

Pay Attention to the Mitochondria

71

The Role of Mitochondria in the Nervous System, Brain, and Cognitive Health

75

Mitochondrial Involvement in Neurodegeneration

78

Depression

85

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:

86

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and Fibromyalgia

89

Type 2 Diabetes

90

Mitochondrial Diabetes

94

Medication-Induced Mitochondrial Damage and Disease

94

Mitochondrial Disease

98

When Mitochondrial Disease Is the Primary Disease

105

Treating Mitochondrial Disease

107

Age-Related Hearing Loss

110

Mitochondria, Aging Skin, and Wrinkles

111

Infertility and Mitochondria

113

Eye-Related Diseases

117

Stem Cells Require Healthy Mitochondria

119

Cancers: Understanding the Causes Brings Us One Step Closer to Cures

120

Aging as a Disease

123

CHAPTER THREE

Nurturing the Force: Nutritional and Lifestyle Factors to Improve Mitochondrial Health

127

How Do the Birds Do It?

127

D-Ribose

132

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)

139

Coenzyme Q10

144

L-Carnitine

153

Magnesium

157

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

159

Creatine

161

B Vitamins

163

Iron

167

Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

168

Ketogenic Diets and Calorie Restriction

170

Massage and Hydrotherapy

177

Cannabis and Phytocannabinoids

178

Exercise and Physical Activity

180

Pulling It All Together

185

Acknowledgments

187

Glossary

189

Bibliography

193

Figure Credits

244

Index

245