By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 22, 2017
- The toxic chemicals hiding in your grooming products
- How you’re accidentally robbing your body of energy
- 3 ways to power-up your energy cells
Environmental toxins… they’re in the air around you and the foods you eat. You might even think these are the only major sources of chemical exposure. But there is a third way these toxic chemicals enter your body that’s often overlooked: Your skin.
You may not realize it, but your skin is your body’s largest organ. It’s your first line of defense against pollutants, disease and illness. However, it’s also very porous. This means everything it comes in contact with is absorbed into the bloodstream.
With that in mind, take a minute to think about all of the products you intentionally put on your body every single day.
Body wash, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, powder, hair gel, deodorant, colognes and perfumes…
It’s a very long list, isn’t it?
Well, every time you use these products you’re exposing yourself to a plethora of toxic chemicals. And some of them may be damaging your mitochondria.
How you’re accidentally robbing Your Body of Energy
I’ve written extensively about chemicals like parabens and phthalates. These are endocrine disruptors that mess with your hormones and slow down thyroid function. They also collect in your fat cells, making them grow larger and larger.
There is another thing they have in common. And I’ll have to add another type of chemical – quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) – to this list. They all add to the potential damage and long term harm to your mitochondria.
Mitochondria power every cell in your body with energy. Think of them like batteries. As long as they’re working right, you’re like the Energizer bunny. But just like a real battery, they slowly run down and begin to malfunction as you age. When that happens, your brain, heart, muscles and other organs all lose energy.
Now, this process is already happening in your body. But every time you’re exposed to and absorb toxins, even from personal care items, you could be speeding it up.
Evidence continues to mount showing that chemicals like parabens, phthalates and QUATS impair mitochondrial oxygen consumption, reduce the production of cellular energy and promote cell death.
QUATS may be the worst of all. In an analysis of 1,600 products, these chemicals were the most toxic to the mitochondria. They not only inhibit mitochondrial oxygen consumption and energy synthesis. They also derail the entire energy-generating process right at the start.
It’s easy to spot parabens in a product. All you have to do is look at the ingredient list and find a word that ends with ‘paraben”, like methylparaben or propylparaben. Phthalates aren’t quite as easy, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that if you see the words fragrance or parfum on a label, phthalates are involved.
QUATS are anything but easy to spot. Two of the most damaging are cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) and benzalkonium chloride (BAK). But there are just too many to list.
Thankfully, EWG’s Skin Deep website can tell you if the products you use contain these mitochondrial enemies.
In addition to selecting non-toxic products, there are also a few things you can do to renew your dwindling mitochondrial power.
3 Ways to Power Up Your Energy Cells
CoQ10 is one of those supplements everyone over the age of 40 should take, every single day. It’s most important job is to power up your mitochondria.
It also helps regulate the waste management units in cells, technically known as lysosomes, to clean up debris. This rids your body of misfolded proteins, damaged mitochondria and other waste products that can damage your cells.
You want your CoQ10 supplement to come in the form of ubiquinol. This is the kind that’s easiest for your body to absorb. Just 100 mg a day can protect and preserve your health. If you take a statin drug, take 200 mg daily.
Supplementing with resveratrol is another way to increase your mitochondria content. It works by turning on your SIRT1 gene, which flips on the master regulator (PGC-1a) of mitochondrial replication.
I recommend at least 100 mg. of resveratrol each day. Add 25 mg. of pterostilbene (a close cousin to resveratrol) to keep your mitochondria at peak performance for years to come.
Nitric oxide, or NO, may also help. It’s believed that NO activates certain gene sequences involved in mitochondrial biogenesis. Additionally, NO regulates your blood flow and is responsible for the release of oxygen into your cells… and into your mitochondria.
Your best bet is a plant-based NO enhancer that has beetroot juice as its main ingredient. These plant-based formulas vary from one manufacturer to another, so make sure to choose the one that gives you the biggest bang for your buck. You can also check out the one I formulated with UniScience Group to ensure maximum benefits.
Rosado-Berrios CA, et al. Mitochondrial Permeability and Toxicity of Di ethylhexyl and Mono ethylhexyl Phthalates on TK6 Human Lymphoblasts Cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2011 December; 25(8): 2010–2016.
Szeląg S, et al. Propylparaben-induced disruption of energy metabolism in human HepG2 cell line leads to increased synthesis of superoxide anions and apoptosis. Toxicol In Vitro. 2016 Mar;31:30-4.
Datta S, et al. In Vitro Evaluation of Mitochondrial Function and Estrogen Signaling in Cell Lines Exposed to the Antiseptic Cetylpyridinium Chloride. Environ Health Perspect. Online ahead of print.
Rodríguez-Hernández A, et al. Coenzyme Q deficiency triggers mitochondria degradation by mitophagy. Autophagy. 2009 Jan;5(1):19-32.