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Causes of mitochondrial disease


Mitochondrial disease can be congenital or acquired. If it is congenital, it is inherited from the mother, since the mitochondria always come from the maternal ovum. They are therefore independent of our genetic make-up. Unfortunately, the mitochondria also do not have their own repair mechanisms, so that damaged mitochondria are passed on from mother to child over generations.


Acquired mitochondrial disease arises from damage to originally intact mitochondria. Chemicals can damage the mitochondria directly or they lead to increased nitrogen monoxide compounds in the cells, also known as NO or nitrosative stress. A special case is that NO can also be caused by injuries to the cervical spine (cervical spine). If the ligaments of the cervical spine become loose, for example in the case of whiplash, this often leads to increased NO formation. Movements of the cervical spine during the day or during sleep can put pressure on the spinal cord of the cervical spine.  This leads to increased NO formation as part of this stress reaction. That is why I ask about such injuries when taking the medical history. I am also aware that patients usually do not immediately remember a childhood fall, a concussion or a fall from the changing table. That's why I always give them a few days to come to terms with the past in order to perhaps find a reference to a corresponding event.


As described, NO weakens energy production in the mitochondria. This condition can be improved by taking certain vitamins and minerals.

It would actually be complicated enough with the formation of NO. Unfortunately, it often doesn't stay that way.

NO can form nitrophenylacetic acid in a reaction with oxygen peroxide. This weakens the mitochondria to an even greater extent. That is why we also examine nitrophenylacetic acid in our practice if mitochondrial disease is suspected. There are now other good methods to clarify mitochondrial function in the laboratory. 


Causes that can lead to the formation of NO and thus to mitochondrial disease:


  • cervical spine injury

  • infections

  • vaccinations

  • psychological traumatization

  • Chronic stress loads

  • Foods rich in nitrates (smoked foods and foods contaminated with artificial fertilisers)

  • carbohydrate rich foods

  • Insecticides, pesticides, solvents

  • Heavy metals, dyes, preservatives

  • Most drugs (e.g. antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering drugs, nitrates, sexual enhancers, antidiabetics, psychotropic drugs, blood pressure drugs, the "pill" etc.)




When I first heard about mitochondrial disease, I didn't immediately realize the implications. As the saying goes: "You don't eat as hot as you cook it!"  I also wanted to use this universal crisis management strategy to tackle mitochondrial disease, but was quickly taught otherwise._cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ While hypochondriacs take symptoms too seriously, physicians tend not to take conditions like mitochondrial pathology as seriously. After all, we've been living with it for a long time! After a training course on mitochondrial disease, a colleague said that it couldn't be that bad, because otherwise we would all have died out by now.


Unfortunately, this colleague is just as wrong as I was with my initial assessment. dr Kuklinski said that by using mitochondrial damaging substances we would damage mitochondria for generations until the end of mankind. I pondered this, wondering if I could confirm or disprove it. An observed phenomenon helped me:  muscle strength, for example when doing pull-ups, is essentially dependent on ATP and thus on the mitochondrial function. ATP is like a full battery in the cell. After energy has been used up, the mitochondria recharge the battery by converting the used ATP (ADP) into ATP again. I had noticed that natives from South America and Africa had much stronger muscles than the average German population. Regarding the Africans   this was also confirmed to me by a colleague who had worked in Tanzania for a long time. Since our muscles do not differ significantly genetically worldwide, the difference in strength development can only lie in the mitochondria!

Central Europeans have been exposed to higher pollution levels for generations since the industrial revolution. Since then, our lead concentrations are 250 times higher and 3500 tons of mercury are released from EU crematoria every year. These are just 2 examples that give reason to assume that the development in industrialized countries has not passed our mitochondria harmless. In developing countries, pollution has not existed for so long and so many generations. Unfortunately, they are catching up quickly and have often overtaken us, which can be seen from the heavy metal pollution. The effects will show up in the following generations.


We also have to ask ourselves why the number of chronic diseases and cancers keeps increasing. A cause for this could be the  mitochondropathy. Weak mitochondria promote cancer, which eventually shuts down the mitochondria altogether.The experience that children with very severe congenital mitochondrial pathologies do not reach the age of 10 suggests that even less pronounced mitochondrial pathologies lead to a shorter life expectancy.


Mitochondrial disease is by no means to be taken lightly, take!

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