It's day one of mbg's exclusive event, revitalize, where we talk with experts in the fields of health, wellness, and integrative and functional medicine. Earlier today we chatted with Aviva Romm—a physician, herbalist, midwife, and best-selling author—about the best diet for women and the unique challenges we face in terms of fertility and hormone health in the modern world. This afternoon, we sat down with Dr. Vincent Pedre, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Frank Lipman to talk about the future of the microbiome and why our mitochondria are ruling our health. Here's what we learned:
1. You inherit your mitochondrial DNA from your mom (only).
It's true! Paternal mitochondrial DNA have a built-in mechanism that causes them to self-destruct upon fertilization. The mitochondria are the energy centers of our cells—responsible for producing cellular energy called ATP—so this means you inherit your energy levels from your mom.
2. We should start thinking about the microbiome more as a metabolome.
We think about the microbiome as the good and bad bacteria in our gut—but it's much more complicated than that. Besides having a name that sounds important, the metabolome represents a concept even larger (and more difficult to grasp) than the microbiome. Basically, the beneficial bacteria in our gut also produce a number of metabolites and compounds (like amino acids). Therefore, gut health is not just a matter of good and bad bacteria; it's an insanely complex ecosystem with endless factors. Taking care of your metabolism is like tending to a garden—one plays a major role in your immune system, energy levels, mood, and metabolism.
3. The mitochondria are SUPER important—and if they aren't healthy, they will make you feel like crap.
Scientists are starting to make connections between the health of the mitochondria and a whole array of diseases including Alzheimer's and diabetes. As Dr. Hyman puts it, problems with the mitochondria are usually related to the very common FLP (feel like crap) syndrome that so many people suffer from.
4. The microbiome and mitochondria are part of large functional systems in the body.
Functional medicine is all about looking at the body as a whole and supporting major biological systems to achieve optimal health. In other words, a functional medicine doc will look at the big picture of your health instead of just individual symptoms. The health of the mitochondria and microbiome have severe and far-reaching effects on your health, so they are two of the major systems functional medicine will try to support with diet and lifestyle change.
5. There are a ton of ways to take care of your mitochondria.
So how do you take care of your mitochondria? There are so many ways—and the good news is that you might already be doing some of them. Here's some inspiration:
- Try hot-to-cold showering.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Avoid toxins in your food.
- Get out in the sun!
Make sure you don't miss any other inspiring talks by tuning in to mbg this afternoon to watch our livestream, presented by INFINITI, and follow #mbgrevitalize on social!
Gretchen Lidicker is an mbg health contributor, content strategist, and the author of CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Epsom Salts, Magnesium Oil, and Nature's Relaxation Mineral. She holds a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University.