As you know, I am a "mitochondriac", aka I truly believe that mitochondria may be the most important component of the cell, afterall, it literally gives us life, via ATP (cellular energy) production.
Just as a reminder, what is mitochondria:
…”Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell. They are organelles that act like a digestive system, which takes in nutrients, breaks them down, and creates energy rich molecules for the cell. The biochemical processes of the cell are known as cellular respiration. Many of the reactions involved in cellular respiration happen in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the working organelles that keep the cell full of energy...”(biology4kids.com)
Listening to one of the recent lectures on mitochondria, I have overheard that some of the brain cells may contain millions of it, really, millions of mitochondria per cell?
So, literature search to the rescue to prove that indeed, some of brain cells may contain up to 2 millions of mitochondria per cell.
Here is the quote from one of the papers, published in journal of Neuron:
Neuron, 2017, Nov 1; 96 (3); 651-666
Mitostasis in neurons: Maintaining mitochondria in an extended cellular architecture
…”A single neuron of the human substantia nigra, for example, has been estimated to form 1 to 2 million striatal synapses (Bolam and Pissadaki, 2012). If mitochondria are present at almost half the synapses (Shepherd and Harris, 1998) and throughout several meters of axon, an estimated population of 2 million mitochondria per cell is reasonable…”
..”Substantia nigra is Latin for "black substance", reflecting the fact that parts of the substantia nigra appear darker than neighboring areas due to high levels of neuromelanin in dopaminergicneurons. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra…” (Wikipedia)
Now, you understand the importance of keeping our mighty mitochondria not only healthy, vibrant and happy, but also in proper numbers.
As part two of this blog, I will talk about foods and herbs that feed our “mighty mitochondria”