You’ve probably heard that gut health is a major component in health, but have you heard of Mitochondria? Did you have any idea that Mitochondria both affect and are affected by the Gut and the in fact, Mitochondria are a KEY factor in good Health? Find out how…

Reduce inflammation, protect your mitochondria 

Hippocrates said:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food“. He also said “All disease begins in the gut“.

This suggests that previous wisdom knew that gut health was central to vibrant health, even if they didn’t know how. Now that science is more fully able to understand many internal structures and processes, the research agrees that gut health is vital. Current research shows how important it is to health and how involved mitochondria function is in the disease process. Mitochondria are essentially dysfunctional in all disease states… but whether dysfunction is the cause or the effect may be less clear.

What is certain is that functioning mitochondria is clearly vital for gut health. And current research shows many links between mitochondria and gut health, and the far reaching ramifications of dysfunction in either.


Rather read the transcript?

Here it is…

Hi friends, have you ever wondered:

  • How could the health of your gut involve mental health and inflammatory processes?
  • Or if mitochondria have anything to do with anything? 
  • Or what in fact mitochondria are?

If so, keep watching. Today I wanted to discuss the connection between mitochondria and gut health, and how mitochondrial dysfunction in the gut epithelium can lead to serious and possibly even preventable health conditions.

I’m Alexis Wiedland, Osteopath at BlossomingMe. Over the last 16 years, I’ve helped many people regain mobility and reduce inflammation and pain. My interest in the concept of cellular health, gut health, and building vibrant, maintainable health began many years earlier when I suffered a health crisis of my own.

How mitochondria can become damaged

So, I discussed last week that mitochondria are damaged by things such as toxins and oxidation. Mitochondria are descendants of bacteria, and as such antibiotics also affect them. When mitochondria become damaged, they cannot function correctly.

With intestinal epithelial cell mitochondrial dysfunction. The epithelium, which is normally completely replaced every three to five days, CAN’T fully replace itself. This makes the intestinal lining, which is supposed to be a physical barrier, holey and ineffective. This allows potential pathogens to enter the bloodstream directly, and this will increase inflammation systemically.

This incomplete replacement, as well as increased oxidation, increases the likelihood of mutations and dysfunctional cell conglomerations or tumours.

Bacteria and mitochondria can directly communicate with each other. And when things are in balance, this supports the production of nutrients, a strong immune response, and the production of neurotransmitters, which is essential for brain health. But when there is a dysbiosis in the gut bacteria, a combination of negative things happen.

The negative impacts when bacteria and mitochondria aren’t working harmoniously

  • Mitochondria become damaged, reducing their self replication mechanism, causing physical barrier disruption and cell mutation. as I just discussed, and this is further worsened by an inhibition of the phagocytosis of damaged cells.
  • There is also a disruption in the immune system, both of the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system. And an activation of inflammatory cascades.
  • The nervous system is also affected by three mechanisms.
    1.  First, the mitochondria within the vagus nerve are directly affected, and the vagus nerve is an important regulatory nerve of the body.
    2. The mitochondria of neural cells in the brain are also directly affected.
    3. Mitochondrial dysfunction disrupts the serotonin, the gaba and the dopamine levels directly within the brain.
Gut Health mitochondria bacteria

It’s also worth noticing that dysfunction in gut mitochondria will also alter the composition of the gut microbiome. So there is a big cross between the two. When one’s dysfunctional, the other may become dysfunctional.

So mitochondrial function in intestinal epithelium affects not only the inflammation of the gut, but also systemic inflammation. Gut microbiome and gut mitochondria have this cross talk, and it can be both negative or positive.

Mitochondria present in the gut directly affect the nervous system, both by the vagus nerve, mitochondria in the neurons, and affecting neurotransmitter levels. And research has also shown that these above mentioned connections link intestinal mitochondrial dysfunction to the inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. Both as a contributing or maybe even causal factor, and as a potential avenue for treatment.

Further, this direct link to the nervous system also shows how intestinal gut health can be vital in brain health, mental health, and degenerative brain disorders.

I hope you found this interesting?  And thank you for joining me. If you found it useful, please comment, like, and share, and if you have any questions, please let me know.

Also, if you would like a copy of my 5 step e-Guide to Stimulating Healthy Mitochondria, please comment ‘Mito’ in the comments below or email us with ‘Mito’ in the subject line.

See you next time.

Final Thoughts:

Mitochondria are little factories within each cell. They create the ATP (energy molecule) that runs all functions of every cell and without enough…. you have NO ENERGY! These little organelles are susceptible to damage and mutation by oxidation, inflammation, not enough nutrients, too much waste/congestion, and toxins including antibiotics. Our body keeps our mitochondria functioning well by activating repair and production of healthy cells and phagocytosis of underperforming cells. When mitochondria in the cells of intestinal epithelium are dysfunctional, inflammation and mutation occur both locally and also systemically.

This can be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis (disease process) of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis as well as colorectal cancer. The ability of the mitochondria to communicate with distant mitochondria such as within the hugely important vagus nerve and also within neurons in the brain. Plus their ability to alter neurotransmitter levels. And its ability to be altered by an imbalance in the gut microbiome… Shows how a dysfunction of the gut microbiome and/or of the epithelial cell mitochondria can affect all areas of brain health, including degenerative brain diseases. This far reaching effect on health is only a snippet of the ways in which mitochondria are involved in health and disease and how the gut also, is central to our health.

Author: Alexis Weidland

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Read our other blogs

If mitochondria are of interest to you, click on last week’s blog.   or…

Read more about what a mitochondria actually is and how they work.


About Blossoming Me

BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Sarah is our Cranio-sacral and Remedial Massage Therapist and health and lifestyle coach. She can help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These complementary massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, and include: craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, remedial, swedish, and body-mind-massage. 

Our qualified Osteopath, Alexis, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole. Our team can support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.

**Disclaimer** The information provided by BlossomingMe, on our website, in our courses, and in our blogs and posts, is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site and social outlets is not, nor intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health professional before you make any changes to your health regime, before dealing with new symptoms, and, if something you have read here has raised any questions or concerns regarding your situation.