Being Healthy on a Cellular Level
It all started when…
Being Healthy on a Cellular Level
You are nothing more than a big bag of cells. These approximately 50 trillion cells are what determines every single thing about you - your skin, hair, and eye color from your DNA, but more importantly your every day hormone interactions, inflammation level, toxic burden, and your current and future level of HEALTH and LONGEVITY. Hormone resistance like diabetes or thyroid problems, inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer’s, oxidative stress and antioxidants - those processes all happen on the cellular level. When you go upstream and focus on cellular health you can address downstream symptoms that you are experiencing. As my mentor Dr. Pompa says “You have to heal the cell to get well”.
This podcast gives a review of really basic cellular biology, cellular function, what can be damaging your cellular health, and as always and most importantly - what you can do about it.
3 Important Components of the Your Cell
This contains your nuclear DNA. What science has discovered is that the human genome is not as large as we originally expected (around 25,000 genes). We used to think that genes determine everything about our health, but we have discovered that we all have good genes and bad genes, maybe genes for cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, etc. But what has been one of the most groundbreaking discoveries of our modern time is discovering that these genes can be turned ON or OFF like light switches by your lifestyle and your environment, called the science of epigenetics.
- Cellular Membrane
The membrane surrounding your cell is what lets the good in (oxygen, vitamins, minerals) and lets the bad out (waste product, toxins). The membrane is made of fat including PUFAs (omega 6 and omega 3 fats), phospholipids, transport proteins to allow things in and out, and other components. This is also where your hormone receptors lie and how your hormones communicate with your cells. When your cellular membrane is damaged it causes inflammation and hormone resistance and massive health problems. This can happen from bad fats in the diet, toxins, even stress can create inflammation. A great book I recommend is called The Wisdom of Your Cells by Dr. Bruce Lipton PhD (cellular biologist) and he talks about how the cellular membrane, and not the nucleus and DNA as was previously thought, is truly the brain of the cell and dictates your cellular health. Healthy membranes = healthy cells.
Each of your 50-ish trillion cells contains an average of 2,000 mitochondria, with the highest concentrations (up to 4,000/cell) in the brain, heart, liver, and eyes - so not three little mitochondria like in the cartoon cell picture above. That is A LOT of mitochondria! Mitochondria are the powerhouse of all of your cells, creating all of your body’s energy for moving, thinking, healing, and regenerating - living. Without mitochondrial energy you are dead. With less mitochondrial energy you are closer to dead. For example, a 70-year old person has approximately 50% of the mitochondrial function of a 30-year old. You want as many mitochondria as possible (exercise increases mitochondrial biogenesis, for example) and you want them functioning as optimally as possible. Your mitochondria also have an outer and inner membrane which can be easily damaged like the cell membrane discussed above, another reason why membrane health is so important. I talk A LOT about the mitochondria in this episode because it’s the most important component of your health.
3 Modern Day Attacks on Your Cells
The standard American diet is loaded with things like damaged omega-6 fats from vegetable oils, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), toxins and additives galore in processed foods, and high fructose corn syrup that all lead to damage and inflammation on the cellular level. The cellular membrane is made of fats, so if you are eating bad fats (processed foods, restaurant foods) you will have bad cellular membranes and bad cellular health. Vitamins and minerals all act as cofactors for many functions happening intracellularly, so if you aren’t providing the correct nutrients you are damaging your cells.
Your diet is a big source of toxins but they are ubiquitous in today’s world, found in air pollution, tap water, our kids toys, our furniture, everywhere you look. Some of the worst offenders are toxins like heavy metals and molds that can directly affect your mitochondria and destroy your health. Many toxins are fat-soluble so they can get through the cellular membrane and into the cells, remaining in the cell causing continuous damage.
- Modern Living
We weren’t designed to be sitting on our butts all day, eating fake food, under artificial lights, around electromagnetic fields like wi-fi and cell phones, and living at 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. These modern technologies have improved certain aspects of life, but certainly not cellular health. You are an electric being. Your quadrillion+ mitochondria literally make your energy from electrons (electron transport chain), so anything with electromagnetic radiation can impact your mitochondria - that’s phones in guys’ pockets or women’s bras linked to low sperm count/quality and breast cancer, that’s non-native EMF like blue light from indoor lighting and LED device screens all day, artificial lights at night, smart meters on homes, and soon to be 5G phone service. Your cells also respond differently to different temperatures, so doing things like contrast showers (hot - cold - warm - cold) and cold thermogenesis as well as heat-shock methods like sauna can have a huge impact on your cells.
3 “Hacks” to Improve Your Cellular Function
- Change Your Environment
Decrease your toxic exposures, change your light sources, minimize EMF exposure, change your sleep. In the episode I talk about several things that I have done like change the light sources in my home, installing F.lux on my computer screens, turning my phone on airplane mode almost all the time, exposing myself to cold, and many more. A fantastic new book that talks about how our typical environment damages the cells and mitochondria and how to strengthen them is called HeadStrong by Dave Asprey. I strongly recommend it if you want to learn more after listening to this podcast.
- Follow a Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet has gained a lot of popularity for weight-loss reasons but the real benefit comes on the cellular level. Ketones have been shown, amongst other benefits, to decrease damaging oxidative stress and turn OFF bad genes through influencing epigenetic switches (ketones are HDAC inhibitors). Ketones are actually the preferred fuel source for the brain and can be beneficial to Alzheimer’s or dementia, which are being described as Type 3 Diabetes due to insulin resistance. Fat also produces more energy (147 ATP/mol) vs. carbs/sugar (36 ATP/mol) and produces fewer free radicals, producing more energy for your brain and body with less ‘exhaust’, almost like an electric or hybrid car vs. a diesel. I have a webinar on following a Ketogenic Diet safely and effectively where I cite some of the cool cellular research that is out there now, several articles on ketogenic diets, and I have a recent podcast episode about how to start a good ketogenic diet (made from the mistakes I saw people make) that you can find wherever you are listening to this episode, iTunes, Stitcher, www.RealHealthResource.com.
- Supplement For Cellular Health
Everything you take in affects you on the cellular level, and certain vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc affect nearly every cellular function in some way. We use cellular specific supplements often to help people support their cellular function. Some examples include IDS (Intracellular Detoxification System) , liposomal glutathione, liposomal CoQ10, eNRG (quantum cellular ATP energy - mitochondrial support), Vista 1 and 2 (cellular membrane regeneration), CytoDetox, and our True Cellular Detox program which includes 12 different supplements (5-8 per 30-day phase) delivered in a specific order (Prep Phase, Body Phase, Brain Phase) over 90-days to support your cellular membranes, mitochondrial function, methylation pathways, glutathione system, and your downstream detox organs the gut, liver and the kidneys.