to 50% of people over 35 years show a weakness in the production of ATP. At 67 years, you have 50% fewer mitochondria than at 40 years. Hence, much less ATP energy. Some people are born with fewer mitochondria and thus age faster. The more free radicals produced in mitochondria, the more they are damaged, and the less ATP energy is maintained. This decrease in seniors at 60 years contributes to difficulty moving and living alone.
Damage We Acquire From Our Mother and Grandmother is a Factor in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease
Recent research at the world-famous Max Planck Institute and the Institute for Biology and Aging, Germany, showed that premature aging or Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of DNA damage in the mitochondria that occurs during a lifetime and by the damage we acquire from our mothers. Mitochondria are transmitted only by the mother from the oocytes. Mutations of maternally inherited DNA influence their offspring. We inherit not only from our mother but also our maternal grandmother and great-grandmother. Genes can be transmitted over four generations. (Example shown in part 3.) About one out of 200 women carry a mitochondrial mutation which can predispose their offspring to degenerative diseases, premature aging, or even cancer (associated with mitochondria mutation) early in life.
A high level of ATP energy is essential for the early stage of embryo development. In a pregnant woman, germinal cells have only 10 mitochondria, the blastocytes have 1000 mitochondria, and the mature oocytes contain from 100,000 to 600,000 mitochondria to create enough energy that supports the embryo to develop all its organs. When an unhealthy mother cannot produce or pass on sufficient mitochondria, her child’s health suffers. Pregnant women exposed to toxic chemicals and metals (in their food or environment), antibiotics, vaccines, or other drugs, risk damaging their mitochondria passed to their children and grandchildren.
Our Body and Cells are Constantly Under Attack by Free Radicals
Human DNA cells are attacked over 10,000 times per day by free radicals. However, our endogenous antioxidant system is genetically built to protect us against these damaging effects. Rats live only about 40 months because of the high rate of free radicals, such as 100,000 attacks, per day, per cell, and quick oxidation of all the body components. Toxic free radicals, such as hydroxyl (hydrogen and oxygen) radicals (present in alcohols and other organic compounds), are potent DNA mutagens, especially in the mitochondria.
Damaged mitochondria produce more free radicals and less chemical energy ATP. This scenario occurs in the brain neurons of prematurely aged people. Even more damage occurs with the death of the brain neurons in Alzheimer’s disease. Oxidative DNA damage, especially mitochondrial DNA, is up to three-fold higher in brain samples from Alzheimer’s patients. This substantially increases in very old patients without a clinically detected approaching disease.
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Figure 5 – Rat lives shorter lives with 100,000 daily attacks. Aging, Health, & Longevity.