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As basic science and clinical research cross paths, a new understanding of the importance of mitochondria in health and disease has emerged. On March 20, 2014, FOCUS moderated an international Skype conversation between Michael Ash, BSc, DO, ND, F.DipION, and Alex Vasquez, BS, DC, ND, DO, FACN on the new epoch of mitochondrial medicine. Michael Ash is co-founder of Nutri-Link Ltd, a subsidiary of Allergy Research Group, LLC. Endnotes that reference relevant studies and sources have been added for readers and physicians.

Schematic representation of mechanisms accounting for mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation

by: Michael Ash BSc DO ND F.DipION+, Prof. Garth L. Nicolson, Ph.D.*

+Clinical Education, Devon UK

*Department of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

If the fundamental biological maxim– ‘structure subserves function’ – remains paramount, the evolutionary commitment to generating, managing and maintaining the vast array of lipids required by humans to survive and prosper has presented science with a complex task to fully elucidate our lipid repertoire and determine their biological functions. .  Arguably the most important of these lipids are the phospholipids that are the mainstay of all cellular membranes. The wide variety of cellular and organelle membranes and the existence of special membrane lipid regions and domains allows for the design of specific lipid replacement therapies to support and maintain the structure and function of cellular membranes. The authors discuss some of the biological processes and evolving strategies related to lipid replacement therapy and its use along with antioxidants for the constitutive management of mitochondrial and other cellular membranes as well as the functional gains from the utilisation of lipid replacement to improve cellular membranes biological functions.

Rudy Segna, MD is the Associate Director Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology & Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He has served as the Director of Gynecologic Oncology and the Colposcopy Service at the Naval Medical Center in Virginia and has published multiple articles and chapters in medical journals and textbooks. He is the winner of the 2009 and 2008 Patients Choice Awards.

By Dr Stephen Levine PhD.

This issue of FOCUS has special meaning for me. It reaches back in time to the incredible excitement generated in the early 1970’s by the stunning discoveries of Singer and Nicolson. These two scientists deciphered the actual biochemical structure of the cellular membrane. They called it the Lipid Bi-Layer Fluid Mosaic Model. I was a graduate student in genetics at UC Berkeley. Their model was talked about in laboratories, over lunch tables, and in classrooms. It was a truly exciting time.

Introduction

There is a simple arithmetic to human life that holds deep insights into health and disease—the rate of our cell generation minus the rate of our cell loss determines the growth or degeneration of a tissue.

Recent evidence indicates that the interplay between our mitochondria, mitophagy (the removal of impaired mitochondria by a specialised version of the autophagy pathway by delivering mitochondria to the lysosomes for degradation) and autophagy links aging to health or disease.[1]

By Michael E. Ash BSc DO ND and Garth L. Nicolson, PhD

On the front line of primary care the two most common complaints are fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. Fatigue is the most common; up to 45% of consultations mention fatigue as the major complaint.[1],[2] If unresolved, it can progress to the point that it causes disability comparable to that found in chronic medical patients.[3],[4]

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