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How to give your heart the love it needs

How to give your heart the love it needs

If your heart is your body’s engine, then your mitochondria are the tiny batteries that power it. Learn about these little powerhouses, and how to nurture them to put more life into your heart.

How to give your heart the love it needs

Every day, your heart beats around 100,000 times to pump over 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Extended out over the average lifetime, this equates to more than 2.5 billion heart beats and over 1 million barrels of blood. Though they slow down when we are asleep, our hearts never get a rest. If your heart stops, so do you.

The blood that your heart circulates is responsible for carrying oxygen, nutrients and water to every cell in your body. It is home to many of the most crucial components of your immune system and is also responsible for transporting messenger chemicals such as hormones, removing cellular waste products and circulating the medicines that you take.

This relentless pumping requires a large and constant amount of energy, which is produced by your mitochondria – your “cellular batteries”. Mitochondria are tiny organelles inside your cells that convert the air you breathe and the food you eat into a special molecule called “ATP”. This molecule is what your cells use for energy, to power all of your cellular functions and machinery. When mitochondria produce ATP, they also produce free radicals as a by-product.

Healthy mitochondria produce an antioxidant called CoQ10, which helps to neutralise these harmful free radicals before they can do any significant damage. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can cause the level of CoQ10 produced inside our mitochondria to slow down, affecting their optimal function. Age, common health conditions and lifestyle factors are known to impact this delicate balance, and “mitochondrial dysfunction” is involved in
many conditions involving the heart and circulatory system.

Your heart is mostly made up of a special type of muscle called “cardiac muscle”, which is responsible for the contracting and relaxing that circulates your blood. Cardiac muscle cells have very high numbers of mitochondria – up to 40 per cent by volume – and so are very sensitive to any decline in mitochondrial function. In addition, the larger blood vessels within your circulatory system have a special type of muscle within their walls which is able to constrict or dilate blood vessels to control your blood pressure. This “smooth muscle” also contains a high number of mitochondria to provide the energy needed to squeeze and relax your blood vessels.

The Mitochondria balancing act

As we now know, up to 40 per cent of the volume of cardiac tissue is mitochondria, due to
the high energy demands of cardiac cells. Free radicals are a by-product of this energy production and are kept in check by naturally-occurring antioxidants. The fine balance between free radicals and antioxidants within the cell’s mitochondria can tip towards free radicals as we age, and therefore mitochondria are not as optimal. We start to feel sluggish and our cardiovascular system does not run as well as it should. MitoQ can enter the mitochondria and can help neutralise free radicals at the main site of production. This supports the health of the blood vessels and their elasticity, so they can provide oxygen and nutrients to all areas of the body

For more information, click here.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. MitoQ Ltd, Auckland. TAPS PP3951.

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