Wo(man) to machine Project- Science Review: Mitochondria

 

Alright, we are going back to 6th-grade science class for a little review today and talking Mitochondria. What are they? Where can we find them? Why are they important?

 

What are they?

 

Mitochondria are little organelles that can be found in the cytoplasm of most cells. Mitochondria contain enzymes that are in charge of producing energy.  

 

Where can we find them?

 

Mitochondria are found in literally every human cell except for red blood cells. The more energy the cell requires the more mitochondria you will find in the cell. With that being said, the cells in your heart, brain, liver, and muscles obviously have a ton.

 

Why mitochondria health is something you should think about.

 

In 6th grade Biology you probably tuned your teacher out when she started talking about mitochondria but mitochondria are actually super important, especially for athletes. So mitochondria take oxygen, glucose, and some membrane protein complexes ( don’t worry about those for right now)  and make this molecule called adenosine triphosphate, ATP. ATP is usually described as the “Energy currency” for the cell. “Currency”, like money not like electricity. ATP is a chemical form of energy and is used as an energy exchange in between cells. Along with a lot of other important functions, ATP is the main source of energy that allows the body to move. ATP supplies energy to your body that allows your blood to circulate, your muscles to contract, and really whatever other tasks your body is performing. So ATP is IMPORTANT. If ATP is important obviously what creates ATP is important as well. Bet you wish you didn’t tune your teacher out now, right?

If I didn’t get the point across already let me say it again. . . making sure your mitochondria are functioning correctly is IMPORTANT. Like I said ATP, the molecule mitochondria create out of glucose, is our bodies main source of energy. The more active we are the more ATP our body uses. Our body replenishes ATP through the food that we eat so it is vital we are putting good fuel sources into our bodies for mitochondria to convert. To simply put it if you are putting shit into your body your mitochondria are going to function as such. So on a cellular level the saying,“ You are what you eat” holds some truth. Although we replenish ATP with food every day as we get older our mitochondria aren’t able to protect themselves from decay as well as they could. The decay of mitochondria leads to metabolic disorders and other diseases like Alzheimer’s. Basically, when our mitochondria decay, we decay.

I’ve just recently started to look into mitochondria function and how to optimise it. Like a good majority of you guys, I tuned my 6th-grade science teacher out too. I’m not an expert on it, but in learning, I have the opportunity to utilize them efficiently. 

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