How does energy work?

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Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

The release of energy in the cell occurs through the function of mitochondria in cells. The mitochondrion is a specialized organelle found in most eukaryotic cells (cells that contain a nucleus). The mitochondrion is often referred to the cells power house. It’s essential for human existence; it's involved in the many cell processes that rely on energy for cell growth, cell messaging, aging and replication. Mitochondria are referred to as “food-burning furnaces” in a person’s body. Within a cell’s mitochondria carbohydrate, fat and protein molecules are broken up through the process of metabolism; they lose electrons in a process called oxidation.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The energy in your body is stored in packets called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as well as phosphocreatine, which are made up of a number of chemicals including a sugar called ribose, adenine (used to be called vitamin B4), and derivatives of B vitamins. Ribose serves as the lumber of your energy-producing house, while other substances help support it (like the hammer and nails). What is inside your cells (nutrients and genes) and other substances (hormones and chemicals from nerves and from your brain etc) act like fuses and switches to control that power factory you have.
Your mitochondria and their component ribosomes take that ribose, sugar, and helper B vitamins, and use electron transport to crank out ATP - your energy packets. Once you have enough ATP, your body can crank out activities. Now, if you blow that fuse, that allows you to produce ATP - through infection, hormonal dysfunction, not getting enough sleep, having a diet that diverts energy rather than stimulates it, or many other causes - your body inefficiently produces energy, using all its energy to, well, produce and store energy.

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You: Being Beautiful - The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.