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Article

The Fascinating Krebs Cycle and Mitochondrial Health

Friday, June 24th 2022 10:00am 12 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Functional medicine highlights the importance of mitochondrial health for greater overall well-being. They have so many integral components for your body to function well. You need to take care of them. Generally, your body does this automatically by adjusting and managing the biological processes and regulating homeostasis.

However, problems can arise when any of these biological processes are blocked. The body becomes imbalanced and illness can occur. One important biochemical process happens within the mitochondria. This is the Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid cycle or the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle). It comprises the chemical reactions that are a major source of energy in living organisms and is present in every cell that uses oxygen to produce energy.

The essence of the Krebs cycle

The metabolic process in cellular respiration repeats itself rather than being a straight-line chain. A series of enzyme-catalyzed and oxidation reactions help cellular metabolism.

The body’s regulation, or homeostasis, of this cycle is critically important because blockage of any parts of the reaction can result in large wasted metabolic energy. The processes can become inefficient. Cells metabolize glucose and change it into carbon dioxide and water, which produces energy when in the presence of oxygen. This cycle is complex but necessary for the body to function well. Impairments in the Krebs cycle can cause problems with metabolism and respiration.

How the Krebs cycle works

The Krebs cycle involves many chemical reactions at the cellular level. It occurs in the mitochondrial matrix, which comprises the folded membranes, proteins, and DNA and RNA molecules. Efficient metabolic operation of the cycle depends on the enzymes that ensure the channeling of substrates, also called intermediates or metabolites. The gene coding for these enzymes produces the metabolic demand for tissue, which is adjusted based on need.

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