The Role of Mitochondria in Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases

The Role of Mitochondria in Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases

Dorothy D Zeviar, Michael J Gonzalez, Jorge R Miranda Massari, Jorge Duconge, Nina Mikirova

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2014, Vol 29, No 4: 157-166

Nutrition is the foundation and basis of good health; therefore, it stands to reason that a proper diet would assist in the prevention of common 21st century chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. In this article we explain the roles of mitochondria in health, and the biochemistry of mitochondria in degenerative disease. We examine the role of oxygen in both (aerobic) oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) and (anaerobic) glycolysis, and how the latter may contribute to chronic disease states. We discuss the biochemical mechanisms behind adenosine triphosphate production and the simultaneous production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) (free radicals), and the chronic effects of cellular ROS damage. Lastly, we discuss the cellular health-enhancing effects of reductive molecules (antioxidants) and an alkaline environment, and how this contrasts with an acidic environment/ diet, which contributes to chronic disease and the pathological state.