Feb 15 , 2020
The Heart and Oxidative Stress
Our heart is made up mostly of muscle cells that help our heart to beat non-stop for our entire lifetime.
Over 5 litres of blood gets pumped through our heart every minute. That requires our heart to beat around 100 000 times each day to supply freshly oxygenated blood to every cell in our body. By the time we die at an average age of 80, our heart has beaten two billion, nine hundred and twenty million times. That’s not bad for an organ that is about the size of our clenched fist and made almost entirely of muscle.
How does the Heart work?
Our heart is divided into four chambers: two on the left and two on the right which are separated by a wall called the septum. The left side of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the rest of the body. The right side of the heart receives oxygen-depleted blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs for re-oxygenation.
Each pump represents a heart-beat and all this pumping is coordinated by a specialized bundle of nerve cells called the sino atrial (SA) node. Although the SA node self-generates its electrical pulse, changes in our body state, such as those due to stress, anxiety, or exercise; medical conditions such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism; and changes to the concentration of salts in our blood, all influence its rate of firing.
Oxygen also regulates our heart beat and is vital for cellular function. Without it, mitochondria are unable to convert the food we eat into energy for the cell called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondria are abundant in heart cells and require a constant supply of oxygen and energy. Any disruption to this supply is always detrimental. The trouble is, it is not hard for things to go wrong.
Most disorders of heart function start with damage to the coronary arteries. These small arteries twist and wind across the surface of the heart and supply the cells of the heart with blood. Smoking; infections that inflame the blood vessels; kidney damage that increases blood pressure; and consumption of foods high in trans fats, cholesterol, or sugar all damage the inner lining of these arteries. Damage attracts fats, calcium, cells and cell debris, which build up, narrowing the width of the artery, reducing its capacity to constrict or dilate and restricting blood flow.
What happens when blood flow is restricted?
When blood flow is restricted the heart goes into a state of oxidative stress. Any blood flow restriction starves the cells of oxygen, effecting crucial cellular reactions and increasing free radical production. Free radicals steal electrons off cellular components made of protein, fats or DNA, causing the cell to malfunction and die.
If blood supply is severely restricted or completely obstructed, damage to the heart muscles reaches a critical level and a heart attack occurs. Timely intervention that restores blood flow is crucial if recovery of normal function is to occur. If blood flow is not promptly restored, free radicals are left to cascade out of control compounding the area of heart muscle damage.
Normally, free radical damage is counteracted by our bodies own natural supply of antioxidants, such as CoQ10. The trouble is, without oxygen, we cannot make antioxidants either. This puts our heart in a state of oxidative stress. Also as we get older, our mitochondria become less efficient and our heart cells don’t generate the same amount of energy or level of antioxidants that they used to.Some heart medications, such as statins, can also lower our natural antioxidant reserves. When this happens, the heart isn’t able to circulate oxygenated blood as well, and our cardiac muscle cells are exposed to more free radical damage. This can potentially cause heart muscle to be damaged or the heart to beat irregularly. It may also raise blood pressure and have devastating effects on other organs and tissues that rely heavily on our heart performing properly.
How can Mito Q Help?
MitoQ is attracted to the mitochondria in our cells and so accumulates in large quantities in our heart muscle.
Once inside our mitochondria, it provides a huge boost to our natural CoQ10 antioxidant reserves, allowing our mitochondria to get on with the task of properly powering our cells. Free radical damage to our heart and blood vessels may be significantly reduced, allowing us to live healthier, more active lives.
MitoQ's breakthrough key ingredient - Mitoquinol - was discovered at The Otago University in New Zealand. Further on over a decade of research, $60 million dollars invested in independent research and over 400 peer-reviewed papers from the world's leading research institutions. These unique properties mean that MitoQ is absorbed directly into your mitochondria hundreds of times more effectively than standard CoQ10 supplements.