By now I am sure that most of you have heard of “long COVID” or “long haul COVID” or some similar name.  It is a very real thing with more and more data coming out all the time.  Recently the CDC stated that nearly 1 in 5 of adults in the U.S. that have had COVID-19 are currently still having symptoms of long COVID.  Worldwide, at least 65 million people are estimated to have long COVID, and the numbers are increasing daily.  I was listening to a webinar on the topic recently and one phrase stuck with me.  The lecturer said that COVID-19 hijacks our mitochondria.  I was already aware that fatigue was the most common symptom of long COVID (around 72%) and that brain fog was also high on the list, so it made sense to me when I heard the statement.  Still, what exactly did that mean, that our mitochondria are “hijacked”?  Well, since then I have done more reading and have a little better understanding of what he was referring to.  Several things actually appear to happen to our mitochondria as a result of COVID-19 infection.  Mitochondria, by the way, are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cells.  They make most of our ATP, which is our source of cellular energy, and they are also involved in other tasks such as cell signaling (communication).  Obviously, mitochondrial health is very important.  So, what happens due to COVID-19?  One thing is mitochondrial fragmentation.  That is exactly what it sounds like – the COVID-19 virus can outright destroy mitochondria.  COVID-19 can also cause mitochondrial dysfunction through other means.  One mechanism is through the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential.  It seems that the phrase “hijacking our mitochondria” fits pretty well as there are numerous ways that COVID-19 damages mitochondria.  So, what do we do to help restore our mitochondria? Fortunately, there are several ways to help our cells.  I will mention a few of my favorites.  First, if you are experiencing any type of lasting fatigue, I like D-Ribose.  This supplement will increase the body’s production of ATP.  It gives a noticeable boost in energy and helps the body recover.  CoQ10 would be another favorite as it enhances mitochondrial function in several ways.  NADH is another supplement that is wise as it can also help restore mitochondrial function.  PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) can help increase the number of mitochondria in our cells.  Intermittent fasting can also help increase mitochondrial production as well but that is perhaps a topic for another time.  If you need help in the battle against lingering COVID-19 symptoms or other health issues, come see us!

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