Our mitochondria are the powerhouse of our cells. If the mitochondria function well, we will age very well and prevent chronic diseases. It is a reason for treating your body with respect, living a healthy lifestyle, and maybe including some therapeutic methods, like supplementing with vitamins and minerals, using the sauna for detox, and resetting the cells.
The following article is written by Dr. Mercola!
How to Measure and Optimize Your Mitochondrial Health
As you age, your mitochondrial function decreases, a hallmark of the aging process and most chronic diseases. Bio-energy testing can quantitatively measure the function of your mitochondria.
Even asymptomatic people in their 30s can have significantly decreased mitochondrial function. Early-onset mitochondrial dysfunction indicates premature aging, and future health problems to substances that significantly improve mitochondrial function are B vitamins and intravenous ozone.
Specific lifestyle strategies will also improve mitochondrial function, the top two being interval exercise and an individualized diet. Lowering your stress and detoxing heavy metals are two others.
Your thyroid may also need to be addressed if your mitochondrial function is impaired. The key here is using bioidentical hormones.
Dr. Frank Shallenberger, author of “Bursting With Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health,” has been a natural medicine physician for nearly five decades.
He’s a true pioneer in the field and a perpetual student as most good natural medicine physicians. He was the first to innovate nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which has become my favorite intervention for upper respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Sadly, it’s been widely disparaged, but those that have used it are typically really impressed by the results.
In this interview, we’ll review some strategies you can use to optimize your mitochondrial health and function. After graduating from medical school, Shallenberger first went into trauma medicine. After about seven years, he transitioned into a general practitioner and internist. Within months, however, he realized that nobody was getting well. Many were getting sicker from the drugs he prescribed.
As it happened, Linus Pauling had a once-a-month study group in the area, which Shallenberger could join. He quickly realized there were far better ways to treat disease.
The Importance of Mitochondrial Optimization
One of the things Shallenberger has pioneered is bioenergy testing that measures mitochondrial function. As you age, your mitochondrial function typically decreases, a hallmark of the aging process itself and most chronic diseases.
He decided he wanted a way to test mitochondrial status, and by 2004 he had developed a system that evaluates how much oxygen you consume and, in real-time, how much carbon dioxide (CO2) you produce. This can give you a quantitative measure of how well your mitochondria work.
My goal for all my patients is to have a youthful mitochondrial function no matter how old they are. A lot of the stuff I’ve learned over the years is how to maximize that. ~ Dr. Frank Shallenberger
He found that even asymptomatic people in their 30s had significantly decreased mitochondrial function. He calls this “early-onset mitochondrial dysfunction,” which indicates future health problems, even if everything seems good and well right now.
“The conventional thinking has always been that our mitochondria lose their efficiency as a result of the aging process. But I started questioning that and wondered if our mitochondria lose their efficiency even before any signs of aging. And the amazing thing I discovered was that mitochondrial efficiency could decrease significantly even in our 30s and 40s, long before any of the effects of aging.
I believe that this early decline is the primary factor that accelerates the aging process and makes us more vulnerable to the diseases of aging. And this is precisely what I have observed over the years. People with optimal mitochondrial function, no matter how old they are, rarely develop any of the diseases associated with aging and routinely maintain full function even into their 90s.”
B Vitamins Needed for Optimal Mitochondrial Function
After testing and experimenting, the only two substances found to move the needle were B vitamins and ozone treatment. So, what are some of the most effective interventions Shallenberger has found for optimizing mitochondrial function? He explains:
“B vitamins are critical for mitochondrial function — especially niacin, riboflavin, and folate. Orally speaking, with niacin, I typically start them at 100 to 200 milligrams a day [but] you can go up to 2,000 mg easy on some patients. I use a B complex because I like to balance it out, but I’m focusing primarily on niacin, folate, and riboflavin.”
Typically, when a deficiency of B vitamins is the cause of decreased mitochondrial function, I will see improved readings within two to three weeks. However, the level of improvement can vary tremendously from one person to the next. An important caveat here is that mitochondria are vulnerable to any number of assaults, including emotional stress.
“I have seen patients have a great mitochondrial function, be under stress for two months, and have their mitochondria wiped out just from emotional stress,” he says. “I haven’t done the studies, but I’m pretty sure that if you get under a lot of emotional stress, I bet your mitochondria suffer a measurable hit within 48 hours.”
The other intervention Shallenberger found for mitochondria optimization is ozone therapy. He explains:
“First of all, people should understand what ozone is. When we talk about ozone and medicine, we’re not talking about ozone in the atmosphere. We’re talking about a very pure molecule; it’s pure oxygen, period. There’s nothing else in there. Regular oxygen that we breathe is what we call O2, that’s two oxygen atoms combined.
Ozone is three oxygen atoms combined. What makes that molecule so unique is that it is very electron deficient. It needs electrons big time. So as soon as you put that into the human body or any tissue, it’s going to start grabbing electrons. And as it captures the electrons, it’s going to form molecules called peroxides [a reactive oxygen species, ROS].
So, after ozone treatment, you’re loaded with peroxides, and these peroxides can stay in the body for a good seven, maybe as many as 14 days. These peroxides are what mediate the various physiological and biochemical effects of ozone. They’re also, by the way, molecules that are electron deficient …
Ozone is a hormetic molecule; it has a hormetic clinical effect. This means that it does one thing at low doses, and as you increase the dose high enough, it starts doing the exact opposite. So, deciding on the amount of ozone is pretty critical.
To stimulate mitochondrial function, I use relatively small doses, in the order of 10, maybe 12 mg … I get ozone treatments myself every week, just because I can. And it would be super good if everybody could do that.”
It is essential that the ozone used intravenously be free of contaminants, so you need to use a machine that converts pure medical-grade oxygen to generate pure ozone.
Ozone generators that convert air from an oxygen concentrator are only suitable for certain topical applications, not an intravenous injection. Also, while the peroxides are ROS, in this case, that’s what you want. You do not want to try to counteract the oxidative stress with antioxidants before the treatment, and here’s why:
“The reason is that I want these peroxides. When the ozone goes into the tissue, I want it to be interacting with lipids and maybe amino acids. I don’t want it to interact with ascorbate because then I’ll get dehydroascorbate. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for peroxides.
The basic thinking with ozone therapy is you never want to give any substance that’s going to donate electrons, like vitamin C or glutathione, prior to the treatment if you want to maximize peroxide production. Now, after the treatment, yeah. You want to do it after, but you got to have that sequence correct.”
Lifestyle Strategies to Improve Mitochondrial Function
Lowering your stress and detoxing heavy metals are two others. Specific lifestyle strategies will also improve mitochondrial function, the top two being interval exercise and a ketogenic diet (high in healthy fats and low in refined carbs, provided that’s optimal for you. For additional details, see the section below). With regard to exercise, Shallenberger says:
“Resistance training is critical, especially for the over 60 crowds. For lean body mass-types of reasons, for resting metabolic reasons, it’s crucial. But it doesn’t do what classic aerobic interval training does …
For ordinary people, not athletes, to maintain good mitochondrial function, what you need is two 30-second intervals [where you go all-out, max exertion], followed by about four or five minutes of rest between the two, done three times a week. That’s hardly anything … [but] it’s every bit as good as any of the harder exercise routines.
The Case for Bioidentical Hormones
Your thyroid may also need to be addressed if your mitochondrial function is impaired. The key here is using bioidentical hormones, which unfortunately is getting more challenging to get a hold of. Bioidentical thyroid hormones are made from desiccated animal thyroid and therefore contain all four natural thyroid hormones: T1, T2, T3, and T4.
Conventional doctors typically use Synthroid or Levo-Thyroid, which only contains synthetic T4. Ideally, you want all four of them, but at a bare minimum, you want T3 and T4.
“Thyroid is critical for a number of reasons,” Shallenberger says. “First of all, probably 80% of people over the age of 50 have suboptimal thyroid function. It’s such a common problem … When I first got my equipment, I started measuring resting metabolic rates. Resting metabolic rate is how much energy your cells produce when you’re not doing anything.
You’re sitting very quietly in a chair. In other words, no exertion. How much energy do you need for no exertion? It turns out the resting metabolic rate is almost entirely determined by thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone also activates uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), an uncoupling receptor on the mitochondria, which stops mitochondria from self-destructing.
The thyroid prevents the self-destruction of mitochondria. The thyroid also stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and stimulates mitochondrial division so that when the cells divide, you get representative DARs cells with the same number of mitochondria. Also, through UCP3, that’s where a lot of fatty acids come in. The thyroid is essential for the fatty acid metabolism of mitochondria.
So, [thyroid] hits mitochondria in about four or five different ways. It’s critical for mitochondrial function. A lot of the time, that’s the big problem. Somebody comes in their resting metabolic rate’s low, the mitochondrial function’s low. I give them enough thyroid to bring the resting metabolic rate up to what would be considered close to optimal, and bang, the mitochondrial function goes right up with it.”
Thyroid Tests Are Unreliable for Diagnosis
Unfortunately, many of the thyroid blood tests aren’t particularly good. TSH is particularly useless, according to Shallenberger. He’s convinced that measuring resting metabolic rate and increasing the dose of bioidentical thyroid hormone until you’re at an optimal or near-optimal metabolic resting rate is a far better way to gauge how much thyroid medication you need. The most commonly used dose is between 1 grain (60 mg) and 1.5 grains (90 mg) for general reference.
“I had lots of these cases. They’ll tell me, ‘I feel perfect. Everything’s wonderful. Thank you so much.’ Then they come back maybe a year later, and they say, ‘I’m miserable … I saw my doctor, he did the thyroid test and said ‘Oh, you’re being way overdosed.’ So, he reduced the dose, and the test is looking good now, but I feel like crap again.’
The doctor says that’s OK, ‘because your tests are looking good.’ So, that’s how good these tests are. They’re useless. The patient comes back to me, I put them back on the thyroid, and that’s the end of that story. I’ll use T4 and T3 to monitor what I’m doing. But the TSH is useless. And they’re all useless for diagnostic purposes.”
The Importance of Being Metabolically Flexible
About 90% of the population is metabolically inflexible, which will have a tremendous impact on their mitochondrial function. Most eat far too many refined carbs and have an impaired ability to use fat as their primary fuel. You typically need to reduce your carb intake and increase healthy fats significantly to address that.
This is not a 100% absolute certainty, however. The mitochondrial machinery in some people is preferentially adapted to carbs, and they won’t do well on a high-fat, low-carb diet. The good news is you can measure how well your mitochondria are working on a specific diet using Shallenberger’s test. This way, you can get a clear idea of your ideal personalized diet. Shallenberger explains:
“Mitochondria can generate energy by either burning glucose or fatty acids. If they’re purely burning glucose, they produce twice as much CO2 as if they’re purely burning fat.
Suppose I look at the ratio between oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced since it’s a linear equation. In that case, I can tell them exactly how much energy they’re generating from glucose and how much energy they’re generating from fatty acids. We have that capability, just from looking at these numbers, to determine that …
Now, carbohydrates in certain people suppress fatty acid metabolism. There’s a subset of the population that, when they eat carbs, it’s mitochondrial suppressive. The rationale is that since we’re all different, there are going to be a subset of people whose mitochondria prefer to get their protons from glucose.
There will be another subset of people whose mitochondria prefer to get their protons from fatty acids. They’re just more efficient that way. So, you have these two extremes. The rest of us fit on some continuum between those two extremes.”
Nebulized Hydrogen Peroxide
As mentioned, Shallenberger was way ahead of everyone else using nebulized hydrogen peroxide. Anytime you inhale something, it enters your bloodstream. Shallenberger had been using intravenous hydrogen peroxide for about 20 years when he suddenly had the idea to inhale it.
Respiratory viruses, of course, tend to hang out in the sinuses, respiratory tract, and lungs. Hydrogen peroxide, meanwhile, is known to kill most known viruses on contact. “It’s pretty simple, but it’s unbelievably effective,” he says. All you need is:
A plug-in jet nebulizer
3% food grade hydrogen peroxide (food grade does not contain chemical stabilizers)
Optional: 1 to 2 drops Lugol’s iodine
Simply dilute the peroxide by mixing seven teaspoons saline with one-fourth teaspoon of peroxide. If you like, you can add one drop of Lugol’s iodine into the cup along with the solution. This gives you a 0.1% solution, which is perfectly safe to inhale.
Heavy Metal Detox
Heavy metal toxicity is another problem that can take a toll on your mitochondria. To address heavy metals, Shallenberger typically uses a combination of colonics, saunas, and chelation therapy. Like me, he’s a big fan of saunas. While most use far-infrared saunas, I prefer near-infrared saunas for several reasons.
For starters, near-infrared penetrates much deeper into your tissues, releasing toxins. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that helps mop up ROS in the mitochondria. Notably, 95% of melatonin is also produced in your mitochondria in response to near-infrared light. Melatonin also helps increase glutathione, which is a major detoxification agent. For tips on creating an EMF-free sauna, listen to our interview as we go into more details than what I’ve summarized here.
TH1 Versus TH2 Immunity
In closing, we touch on immune function. Your immune system is divided into two “arms” or branches, the innate immune system (TH1) and the humoral immune system (TH2). If your innate immune system is not working well, you’re more prone to infection and illness. Unfortunately, vaccines of all kinds suppress TH1, pushing you toward a TH2 dominance.
“In 1994, a study was published, looking at homosexual men. It had to do with AIDS, and all these men were HIV positive, but only a portion of them had AIDS. They found that of those who had AIDS, 100% of them were all in TH2 dominance. Of those who didn’t have AIDS, only 30% were in TH2 dominance.
They were in TH1 dominance … I looked at that study, and I thought, ‘Wow, you’re telling me that 30% of men in the control group were already in TH2 dominance? That’s pretty pathetic. This means their innate immune system is more or less shut down, and they’re in a TH2 humoral system imbalance.
I thought they’d ruined the TH1 because what happens is that the TH2 system produces cytokines that suppress TH1. TH1 produces cytokines that suppress TH2. So, it’s sort of like one aspect of the immune system is saying, ‘I got this, we don’t need you anymore.’
In the ’80s, it was a big thing to test for antibodies. Everybody was testing for antibodies. The conclusion we came to is that if you have a lot of antibodies, that means you’re super-duper infected versus somebody who doesn’t have a lot of these antibodies. So, we’ve got a number of our population of so-called healthy people in a TH2 dominance.
It turns out that’s not the case … The problem is not that super infection-type situations cause these antibodies. The problem is they’re in TH2 dominance, and that’s what they do. They live off antibodies.
Maybe as much as one-third of the population is already in TH2 dominance. Why is that? … What are we doing that’s making all these antibodies? Hello, vaccines. But what’s the definition of a good vaccine? It makes an antibody. You’re automatically suppressing your innate immunity every time you get a vaccine.
A couple of years ago, statistical data came out comparing the death rate from COVID in countries where the population was highly vaccinated for the flu in 2019 instead of countries with a low flu vaccine rate. And the death rate was something like 400% greater in the countries where most people had the 2019 influenza vaccines.
That stands to reason because they suppressed their innate immunity. That was one thing that got to me. You know, vaccines aren’t helping this game here. The other thing that got to me is that we know ozone stimulates gamma interferon and IL2, which are TH1 stimulants that act to suppress TH2.
So, my conclusion, finally, was that when you add it all up, why does ozone work for every viral infection you can get? … It has to do with the fact that I’m taking them out of a TH2 dominance putting them in a TH1 dominance.”
To learn more, you can pick up a copy of “Bursting With Energy: The Breakthrough Method to Renew Youthful Energy and Restore Health,” which is loaded with good advice.
If you’re interested in getting bioenergy testing to measure your mitochondrial function, check out Shallenberger’s website, www.antiagingmedicine.com. Aside from Shallenberger’s clinic in Nevada, there are also testing centers in a dozen other states and several other countries.
If you are interesting, this is what the vaccines are doing to your mitochondria!
I can relate very much to this article! Suffering from a Hashimoto autoimmune disease, I am used to consuming a healthy diet due to my food intolerances, gluten, dairy, and egg. I have adopted a healthy lifestyle, consuming much Vitamin B food like seedlings and an organic powder containing a high amount of B vitamins. For decades, the typical approach of synthetical hormones has destroyed much of the tissue. However, by optimizing Vitamin D3, selenium, and omega 3, I could quickly get my thyroid under control. Using bio-identical hormones gave me my life back.
However, putting four drops of 0.3% hydrogen peroxide in a glass of pure water is certainly increasing oxygen in your tissues and cells. I have followed this method for more than 20 years, and it helps amazingly. Hydrogen oxide is a very cheap product you can even use for wounds. It kills bacteria so effectively that I find these expensive modern methods unnecessary. They primarily help the wallet of Big Pharma!
Please, tell me what you think or what your experiences are! I would love to hear your opinion!
To Your Health,