Do You Have Enough Energy For The Holidays?

By Dr. Steve Zielinski, Pharm.D, FACA

I know this isn’t something we’re always thinking about during the holidays, but maybe it’s time to charge up now before the holidays, the colds, and the in-laws get here.

All of our organs and systems in the body rely on energy to function properly. The energy used by our cells is produced by the mitochondria, which are organelles found in every cell in the body. These tiny structures generate over 90% of the body’s energy, but this comes with a price- mitochondria also produce the vast majority of free radicals within the body. Free radicals cause oxidative damage, which hinders the function of our cells and contributes to inflammation and aging.

The organs of our body that have the highest demand for energy include the immune system, the brain, the liver, and the cardiovascular system.

Normally, dysfunctional mitochondria are removed to protect the cell from damaging consequences. However, aging, excess sugar in the diet, nutrient deficiencies, toxins, physical inactivity, and stress can all decrease the efficiency of mitochondria and impair this removal process. When mitochondria do not produce enough energy or create excessive oxidative stress, the systems relying on the metabolic reserve of energy begin to decline in function. Eventually, this dysfunction leads to noticeable symptoms and chronic disease.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with migraine headaches, metabolic syndrome, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and frequent infections.

I know everyone wants a magic pill for energy, but I only have lifestyle and nutrient recommendations. Lifestyle recommendations include: 5-7 servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables per day because vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients combat free radicals; 45 minutes of exercise per day: 8 hours of sleep; and avoiding excess sugar.

Nutrients that can make a big difference include acetyl L-carnitine, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and Alpha Lipoic Acid to combat oxidative stress and cellular damage. Fish Oil contains EPA and DHA which help control oxidative stress and inflammation. COQ10 is an antioxidant and is essential of energy production pathways.

As simple as this sounds, really all that is needed is the time to change old habits and create new ones. Start with just one thing, one example would be to set an alert on your smart phone for 8 hours before you wake and get into the habit of going to bed on time. For more information or ideas feel free to set up a conversation with our pharmacists to discuss how to best recharge your health.

For more information please contact Dr. Steve Zielinski, Pharm.D, FACA at Colonial Village Pharmacy, 7945 Big Bend Blvd, Webster Groves, MO 63119. 314-962-1065 or visit online at www.colonialvillagerx.com.