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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 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:
Pay Attention to the Mitochondria 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