Mitochondrial Disease - The Cause of Family Dysfunction

Keep it simple ... Rings in my ear

E = MC²
— Albert Einstein

This is to my family who prefers simple answers over complex understanding. Simple can be be the problem all along however.  Let me present this example! The Theory of Special Relativity explains the relationship between time, space, and motion and is simply stated, E = MC². E = MC² reveals secretes about massless particles, possible multi-verses, nuclear fission, and the mind blowing fact that the Law of Conservation of Matter is actually false - matter can be destroyed into anti-matter. Simple right?

What the F$#@ is anti-matter?

Mitochondrial Disease and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide.

Now, what F$#@ is that?

I learned the downfalls of "keeping it simple" from a Joe Rogan Experience Podcast - Episode #904 to be exact. Insightfully Rogan's guest suggested that just stating simple facts are only a description of the issue. Further stating, knowing simple facts are never the solutions to issues. If one really desires the correct solution, they must understand the description providing the logic. Or defensive, primal reasoning takes over and often the right answer is not accepted because the primal brain craves simple and safe over what is right.

I bring this up to resolve my damaged ego which is often damaged when speaking with my family the world of good health. At the core of most family dysfunctions are hurt ego(s). In this case, it's my damaged ego when my academic knowledge and practical experience is not heeded. Rather than heed my advice about optimal health practices, my family members tend to choose differently.

How does Einstein, family dysfunction, and hurt ego relate to mitochondrial disease? So glad you asked, thank you!

 I'll keep it simple -

"Just following simple facts is how we have fallen into poor health as a society."


Actually,Keeping it too simple is how we get into most predicaments in life.

The worse health epidemic is the choosing various paths of least resistance; i.e., another way of looking at simple. Let me explain. We tend to accept simple facts that fit within our comfort zone; quick fix diet books, the latest exercise craze, or that magic supplement. More challenging health fixes are tossed.  There is the root of my hurt ego - I have knowledge (not simple) that may help reverse the cycle of poor health in my family - but rarely is my wisdom taken seriously enough to adopt. This has turned into me experiencing my family members picking best fit, simple plans to improve their health. Yet, they continue to decline in health. Deeper understanding can require discomfort - heck, good health requires a bit of discomfort.

Uuuuuggghhhhh........I need to make another appointment with Tara, my counselor (name changed to protect the innocent). Only she understands my plight.

So, this paragraph is to my simply as I can express of what is to follow below. Your mitochondrial health is brutally important. Losing mitochondrial viability is linked to a lot of diseases. Even Pancreatic and Lymphatic - Please feel what I just wrote. Progressive research is being done on Mitochondrial Disease. Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide concentration is uber important to mitochondrial health. There are ways to optimize mitochondrial health. Ensuring better health practices aids in preventing Mitochondrial Disease.

Comfort creates simple and it's comfort that can be the enemy all along.....simply put.

Family, I hope this reaches you and you appreciated my hurt ego rant.

But it is just not that simple, or comfortable, to leave it there. So, for those of you who are interested....

Mitochondria are tiny organelles inside most cells of our body. They are responsible for energy production, supplying Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) - "The Energy Currency" - for such things as muscle contraction. But they are also crucially involved in calcium regulation, gene expression, oxidation protection, cell division, rate of aging, and immunological functions to only name a few. Mitochondrial Disease is associated with anemia, dementia, hypertension, cholesterolemia, lymphoma, type-2 diabetes, retinopathy, neurodevelopment issues, neuropathy, exercise intolerance, hearing loss, and a host of other diseases.

In college I understood mitochondria to be the powerhouses of our bodies. In fact, in our lab at The University of New Mexico, we would take chunks of each other's thigh muscles to assay who had the most mitochondria. The greater the number of mitochondria, the more aerobically conditioned; theoretically. The best cut meat won the Exercise Physiology game. That painful experience was more insightful than we understood at the time. In science today, diminishing numbers of mitochondria, even shrunken mitochondria, are associated with disease progression and premature aging. Gone are the days where we would study mitochondria just to see who was the next Lance Armstrong. Right now, mitochondria science is front and center for establishing new treatments for disease prevention, progression, and anti-aging.

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme found in the mitochondria. NAD+ plays a game of catch with another molecule NADH. They play during all hours to help form Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP); aka, The Energy Currency. That game of catch is not with a ball, but with a hydrogen molecule. As NAD+ and NADH pass the hydrogen back and forth exposing electrons and manufacturing energy. It is this energy that sustains our lives and helps dictate our health. ADP turns into ATP by NAD+ and NADH playing catch with a hydrogen. Simple, once you break it down.

Without proper energy reactions, the mitochondria become atrophied and diseased. Diseased mitochondria result in greater oxidative stress, abnormal gene expression, premature cell death, impaired immunological function, homeostatic imbalance, then disease and death.

A precursor to NAD+ is Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). Higher concentrations of Nicotinamide Riboside correlate to higher concentrations of NAD+. When NAD+ is prevalent mitochondrial health is easily sustained and a thriving environment is provided.

A landmark study in 2013, at Harvard University, showed the importance of NR on mitochondrial biogenesis and density. Before this study, NR was only known as precursor to Vitamin B6. Over the past year and half, new studies are radically changing the way NR is being respected. Lets take a quick, summary look. Synthesizing NAD+ typically requires a very complex six step process. When concentrations of NR are abundant, only two steps are needed. Research is indicating that mitochondrial health is determined by NR concentration. High amounts of NR = more NAD+ = healthy mitochondria = energy = overall good health.

Nicotinamide Riboside effectively inhibits early and late stage disease progression. This is accomplished by robustly inducing mitochondria biogenesis in muscle and brown adipose tissues. In turn, preventing mitochondrial DNA abnormalities, establishing healthy mitochondria, and preventing early death and inhibiting Mitochondrial Disease. This information sure would have come in handy when I was getting muscle yanked from my thigh - I could have better altered my mitochondria - winning the Exercise Physiology game. Maybe becoming another Lance Armstrong. More importantly, this contemporary knowledge may have been key in helping an ailing family member before it became too late.

These finding are very compelling. Optimizing NR concentrations, NAD+ production, and mitochondrial health are main-stage performers in today's science investigating disease prevention, regression, and overall optimal health. This is hot off the press kinda health news and hopefully this peeks interest in cultivating an environment for optimal mitochondrial health. The healthier your mitochondria are, the healthier you are!!!

Simple? Right?

Visit to register for your free consultation on how to optimize mitochondria function and health.

You didn't charge me to listen to my family issues........let me pay you back by listening your desire for optimal health.

P.S. - To the family member who made it to the end, let me provide an example of the damage with just keeping it simple. Just because the fact that my pay-stub indicated that insurance was deducted twice, didn't make it so and I rejected the logic. I had to be walked through it. It took describing finance (not simple for me) to break my vicious cycle of misunderstanding and ensuring a healthier choice. Family I am here when you are ready - and I am realizing that to heal my ego I need to stop searching for acceptance. 

Curses getting out of comfort zones.

Sean Merrick