Mitochondria are the tiny organelles which are contained in every cell in our bodies. Hundreds of thousands of them actually with the numbers depending on the type of cell and the energy needs of that cell. Mitochondria produce energy. Energy for your cells to function. If they cannot operate efficiently then the slow and gradual process of ageing and disease speeds up.


In the three previous Health Fundamentals Series we discussed GUT health, pH or acid/alkaline balance and oxidation levels. Each of these three functions in the body directly impact on mitochondrial function because they determine the environment which mitochondria operate.

Without efficient energy production our body simply cannot function. We are starting to see more and more metabolic syndromes where cellular energy production is affected. PCOS is one along with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. But it doesn’t stop with these chronic conditions. Literally every health condition where the cell is implicated, then there are cellular energy issues. And its typically our genes, diet and lifestyle which determine the part of the body effected.

Mitochondria function in the cells is to take glycogen which is the by product from food and turn it into ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate ATP is what our cells use for energy. No energy, No life. Now mitochondria have a life cycle of about 9 days. And each cell replicates the amount of mitochondria depending upon the energy demands. A healthy cell, has a lot of energy demands. For example as you begin to exercise and increase your fitness levels mitochondia levels increase in your muscles, lungs and heart. A diseased cell that is not functioning well will have lower energy requirements and produce less energy.

Typically cellular energy production is reduced when the cell does not have the right environment to function such as altered pH. Cells can become damaged through elevated oxidation. Cells reduce function when the incorrect or wrong types of nutrition are received. Hydration and the correct levels of fatty acids in cell membranes also influence cellular function and hence mitochondrial function.

To summarise, incorrect cellular environment, poor nutrition, dehydration and lack of activity influence our genetic susceptibility. This then leads to a wide range of health conditions and metabolic disorders. There are several ways to reverse this process and get your mitochondria working to their full capacity and potential.

  1. Balanced internal pH: focus on having alkaline forming foods
  2. Reduce oxidation: oxidation damages mitochondria. Consume a diet a high in plant based antioxidants which protect mitochondria
  3. Consume unrefined whole grains. The current fad away from grains is leading to deficiencies in b vitamins. B vitamins play and essential role in cellular energetics
  4. Consume healthy fats. Fats make up the cell membrane and allow for the correct transport of nutrients into the cell
  5. Remain hydrated. Having a balanced pH and plant based diet allows your system to remain hydrated intracellularly.
  6. Exercise and be active. Exercise increases the number of mitochondria in cells and also enhances circulation.


It is quite a complex subject however if you focus in the core principle which support healthy mitochondrial function then this is all that matters. Let the body do what it does so well, however you must create the right environment for this to occur. Our 8 week program takes this into consideration and provides everything you need. Its free and easy to implement in stages.


About Jeff Butterworth:

Jeff Butterworth B.App. Sc, N.D is a Naturopath with over 20 years experience specialising in treating hormonal disorders. Jeff developed the Happy Hormones program after discovering a unique way of treating hormonal disorders - by focusing on endocrine balance rather than hormonal levels - which gives long-lasting and dramatic results.