In part 6 you will learn about ways to boost your metabolism and how different foods and activities influence your metabolism positively or negatively.
Here’s part 5 in case you missed it.
Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to give the impression that I came up with this information and research by myself, all rights are reserved by Dr. Mark Hyman. Chunks of the text may also be directly quoted from the book without me knowing it.
Boosting Your Metabolism
The part of your body that uses up the most energy is your brain. The brain has the most mitochondria in your entire body. Mitochondria are like little energy factories in your cells.
The mitochondria use the energy that you body has gotten from consuming food and liquids, in combination with oxygen and makes it into ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which is the body’s main source of energy.
A single cell may have from two hundred up to two thousand mitochondria. The mitochondria require a lot of oxygen to function and use up 90 % of the oxygen that we breathe in.
If your body doesn’t produce any energy it will affect the way your cells function negatively and will eventually lead to cell death. If this goes on for a prolonged period of time it will impair your body and lead to you becoming brain-dead.
So the mitochondria require oxygen in order to break down and process the food and turn it into ATP for our bodies. In the process of this, free radicals are created as a byproduct.
Free radicals damage our cells by oxidizing them, this is called oxidative stress. Mitochondria are very sensitive to inflammation and toxic damage!
More damaged cells equals more oxidative stress or “rusting” – which is essentially what oxidative stress is. This, in turn, leads to damaged DNA, damaged cell membranes, rancid or oxidized cholesterol (which is what truly makes cholesterol harmful), stiff arteries that look like rusty pipes, wrinkles and brain damage. Oxidative stress is a central feature in dementia as well as autism.
-Dr. Mark Hyman
This is why phytonutrients and anti-oxidants are important to consume in order to counter this effect.
Increase glutathione production (the main anti-oxidant of the body) in order to prevent the oxidative stress from occurring. You may also want to increase intake of zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and vitamin C.
(Most people’s diets are filled with empty calories from sugars, refined carbs, trans-fats and additives. Ironically enough they are deficient in the essential macronutrients. You need to eat a rainbow colored diet to optimize anti-oxidant intake)
Vitamins, minerals and special nutrients such as lipoic acid, NADH, camintine, coenzyme Q10, help your mitochondria produce the essential ATP that the body needs to be energized – therefore you should strive to make sure you have all of these in your diet to make sure that your production of energy is optimized. (in particular the minerals and vitamins, the supplements may not be necessary here as there is a bit of a lack of research conducted on them – especially in the case of bodybuilding sites selling coenzyme Q10)
This is what aging ultimately is – the slow destruction and damage to our mitochondria that result from nutritional deficiencies, low levels of antioxidants, exposure to toxins, allergens, infections, and stress.
–Dr. Mark Hyman
- You need a decent amount of healthy fats or your cell membranes won’t be functioning optimally (fluid cell membranes vs dry) and cause your mitochondria to die.
- If you do not have enough B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, zinc etc, your energy production slows down and becomes less efficient as these minerals and vitamins act as helpers in that process.
- If the methylation & sulfation process slow down then the free radicals and oxidative stress will increase as your production of glutathione is decreased.
- If your body’s hormones become unbalanced, and you get too much cortisol (stress), or your thyroid function slows down –> all of this leads to mitochondria working much less efficiently
- Inflammation of any sort (brain, body, gut) damages the mitochondria. So don’t eat foods that cause inflammation. (Gluten and dairy for most people, but food that you may be sensitive or allergic to in general)
Boost Energy Metabolism
Overactivation of the NMDA receptor causes metabolic trouble
NMDA = on/off switch for your cells. It has to be in balance for the brain to work perfectly; not too little and not too much (overstimulation)
Too much stimulation sends the cells into a “death spiral”, killing cells.
When the NMDA receptor gets too excited it opens a gate which lets through too much calcium for your cells. This triggers an overproduction of free radicals, which in turn damage mitochondria and that lead to cell death.
Many things, among others aspartame, MSG, toxins, environmental poisons, infections, allergens and stress can trigger this overexcitation and stimulate the NMDA receptors to open the gates, starting the process.
Good stuff for relaxation and metabolism (mitochondria)
Magnesium guards against glutamate (which normally triggers the overstimulation) and in turn protects the NMDA receptor. Zinc also works the same way, helping you relax. Other supplements to help you relax and protect you against overstimulation of the NMDA receptor are: GABA, taurine, B6, D, N-acetylcysteine and green tea.
(I’ve been drinking green tea and yerba mate for a few weeks since starting with this program and I like it quite a lot and recommend that you try it yourself. Just don’t buy the pre-packed crap they sell you at the store. Get it in it’s pure form and brew it yourself)
Phytonutrients (polyphenols) = compounding plants, over 10000s! Antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory and other good things (eat a rainbow coloured diet of fruits, vegetables and berries)
When humans consume phytonutrients it works as a genetic control system that turns on and off genes and helps us stay healthy.
Reservatrol = in red wine (a natural defense molecule of plants)
Omega-3 fats = helping the cell membranes remain fluid and open/close àimproving cell communication
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) & vitamin B6 (niacin) = Helps the enzymes that break down food and calories to energy in your mitochondria (metabolism)
Acetyl-L-carnitine, Alpha-lipoic-acid (ALA), coenzyme Q10, NADH, D-ribose, magnesium, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and N-acetylcholine (NAC) are the best nutrients to in order to boost your metabolism and protect your mitochondria according to Dr. Mark Hyman.
Anything that helps your mitochondria helps your brain, and anything that improves your blood sugar control, improves insulin resistance and also helps your brain.
-Dr. Mark Hyman
Bad stuff for relaxation and metabolism (mitochondria)
– Inflammatory omega 6 from meat and dairy (poor sources, not organic)
– Cortisol (major one)
– Homocysteine (if deficient in B6, B12 or folate)
When you eat too much sugar it will cause your body to produce an excess of insulin. This in turn triggers inflammation which leads to oxidative stress which leads to mitochondrial injury/destruction. This damage of the mitochondria leads to further insulin resistance.
(The point is that anything that protects the mitochondria is good because it reduces insulin resistance.)
Negative thoughts, emotions, mindsets/beliefs and experiences can (and often will) trigger stress which produces cortisol which breaks down the brain. The damage to the brain happens because the stress is depleting your body of nutrients, which several things such as inflammation, change in hormones, damage to the gut, increased oxidative stress etc.
The mind-body connection is crucial here, and so is being relaxed.
Overeating and why it’s harmful (especially empty calories like sugar)
(Minimize your intake of sugar and sweeteners )
According to Dr. Leonard Guarente from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who discovered a gene called SIR-2 in yeast back in 1995 that is believed to control longevity /aging.
The SIRT-1 gene (as it is known in humans) protects your mitochondria and therefore increases your overall health and aging.
As long as your mitochondria are in good shape you are able to metabolize all the calories you take in and effectively turn them into energy, but when you overeat or simply eat too many empty calories (sugar, snacks, junk food etc) your mitochondria can’t keep up in most cases (unless you are very fit or have really high metabolism). This leads to overproduction/generation of free radicals which acts to slow down your metabolism, which of course is bad.
When you increase the ability of the SIRT-1 gene (the master gene of the mitochondria), you will in turn improve the overall function and ability of your mitochondria which leads to improved insulin sensitivity as well as antioxidant defenses. In short you will increase your quality of your brain & body.
One single nutrient will not work as a magic pill; you need to get a combination of nutrients together the way your body was meant to work. Nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins are team players and work best together.
- Problems with mitochondrial enzymes lead to less energy production and more free radicals and oxidative stress.
- Enzymes can be made to work better by providing helpers, namely vitamins and minerals.
- The right nutrients can help the body induce its own antioxidant defenses. For example, zinc, copper, and manganese are needed for the function of one of our own most powerful antioxidant enzymes called SOD or superoxide dismutase, and selenium is needed for the function of glutathione peroxidase, which helps your glutathione do its job as an antioxidant and detoxifier.
- Use combinations of antioxidants to soak up free radicals and prevent overproduction of oxidants in the mitochondria.
- Use phospholipids and omega-3 fats such as DHA and EPA (in fish oil etc) to repair and rebuild the mitochondrial membrane.