Who Wants Abundant Energy - Part 2
Following on from my last article, this edition will detail how our bodies produce energy and begin to discuss some of the reasons for why we can experience low energy. The production of energy is very complicated but when working effectively, is a wonderful thing!
The food we eat contains components that are broken down via the process of digestion into carbohydrates, fats and proteins that can be utilised by the body. Our best energy sources are carbohydrates (grains, potatoes etc.) as these are easily broken down into glucose which is the main fuel used by every cell in the body.
Once food is broken down, a specific process needs to occur for the energy to be trapped into a form that can be used by our bodies. The energy is trapped into a molecule that stores it; called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is viewed as the currency of the body which it uses to ‘make things happen’. In the middle of the cell are bean shaped structures called mitochondria and it’s in these tiny factories where energy production takes place. Many nutrients are required along the way to enable this very complex process to happen, including sulphur, iron, copper and co-enzyme Q10. Co-enzyme Q10 is similar to a vitamin and we get it from our food (sources incl. meat, poultry, fish) and we can also make it in our bodies. It can be found in our bodies cells and is concentrated in the organs that have high energy needs such as the heart and muscles. Co-Q10 deficiency signs include fatigue, muscle aches and memory loss.
We also need to be able to store energy as it’s required every second of the day, if we had no stores, we would need to constantly eat. When carbohydrates are in short supply, a type of short term energy is made called glycogen which the body can then turn into glucose. And when glycogen has been used, the body will use fat as an energy source and to a lesser extent, protein. Most organs can use protein for energy except for the brain. The process the brain has to use to get energy when carbohydrates (glucose) are low, causes acidity in the body which can lead to bone problems as calcium is leached from them and tiredness and weariness can result. A well-known high protein / no carbohydrate diet that was popular a few years ago, is a good representation of this problem as while it caused short term weight loss, following such a unbalanced regime was reported to cause detrimental effects to the function of the body.
I must stress that this is a very brief account of how energy is made in the human body but hopefully it will give you the reader an insight into the importance of this process if you are to understand how you can have abundant energy.
In my next edition, I will cover some major causes of fatigue and low energy including the importance of sleep, anaemia and iron deficiency and blood sugar problems.
Rebecca Smith at Newport Complementary Health Clinic.