Why a simple multi vitamin could be the answer to your lack of energy problems.
Lack of energy is the most talked about topic in my shop! People are knackered!! There are many reasons why we may be lacking in energy from magnesium deficiency, low levels of Coenzyme Q 10, stress, medication such as statins etc. To understand how we can address this problem it is often useful to know how we produce energy in the body and what can effect this efficient production. Sometimes the simpler, cheaper solutions can often be the answer to our problems.
One common factor among the trillions of cells in the human body is their need to make energy in order to function. Almost every process that occurs in the body is dependent on energy. We all have wide-ranging energy requirements. Whilst everyone needs energy for daily internal processes, certain individuals may need additional energy to fuel long distance exercise and take part in competitive sports, whereas others may need additional energy to provide the mental power to concentrate when studying for an exam or writing an essay. Whatever energy is required for, the key principles for the production of energy in the body are the same.
Energy comes from the food we eat via a process known as metabolism and is dependent on the digestion and assimilation of nutrients which are required for the production of a compound called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP can be likened to a rechargeable battery in that it releases energy and is then recharged so it can release some more. Each ATP molecule is recycled 2000 to 3000 times during a single day but in order for this to occur various factors and nutrients need to be in place in order for the process to proceed optimally.
ATP is produced inside the human cell with the majority of production occurring in organelles known as mitochondria.
The number of mitochondria in cells is highly variable, but in metabolically active muscle cells, like those found within cardiac muscle, the mitochondria are larger and number many thousands. When carbohydrates, fats and proteins are consumed they are digested and broken down into smaller components such as glucose, fatty acids and amino acids via the digestive system. Once in the blood stream these components will enter tissue cells where they are then utilised in a process known as cellular respiration.
Cellular respiration is the process that creates chemical energy in the form of ATP from these simple food molecules via several key steps:
- Pyruvate Conversion
- Citric Acid Cycle (Krebs Cycle)
- Electron Transport Chain
Glycolysis The first step of cellular respiration that takes place is a process called glycolysis. This uses glucose, which occurs within the cytosol of the cell and does not require oxygen (anaerobic). It is therefore the fastest way to make ATP for the majority of the body’s tissues with the exception of the heart which has a preference for fatty acids. In total glycolysis produces 2 molecules of ATP.
Glycolysis requires: vitamins B1 and B2, magnesium, manganese and others.
Pyruvate Conversion Glycolysis also produces 2 molecules of pyruvate which are converted to a compound called acetyl-CoA in the presence of oxygen.
Conversion requires: biotin, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5, alpha-lipoic acid and others.
Citric Acid Cycle (Krebs Cycle) Acetyl-CoA enters the next stage known as the citric acid cycle (also referred to as the krebs cycle) which occurs inside the inner mitochondrial membrane and is an aerobic process therefore requiring oxygen. Here a further 2 ATP molecules are produced. Acetyl-CoA is not the only substrate that can be used in the citric acid cycle. Amino acids can also be utilised as well and fatty acids which are able to provide 129 ATP molecules per fatty acid via a process known as beta oxidation. However, unlike glycolysis which can be carried out anaerobically (without oxygen), beta oxidation requires oxygen and is very sensitive to blood flow.
Citric acid cycle requires: vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B12, vitamin C, magnesium and others.
Electron Transport Chain The last stage of the process where the majority of the ATP is produced is through the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) which occurs in both the inner membrane and the mitochondrial matrix. The cristae, which are folds of the inner mitochondrial membrane, provide an increase in the surface area allowing for faster production of ATP because there are more places for it to be carried out. Here with the assistance of two compounds known as NADH (a coenzyme) and FADH2 (a redox cofactor) that have been produced during the previous three processes a further 34 molecules of ATP are created.
Electron transport chain requires: vitamins B2 and B3, CoQ-10, iron, sulphur, copper and others. In summary when utilising glucose as an energy source 38 molecules of ATP are produced:
Research suggests that one in five of us feel overly tired or tired all the time!
The fast pace of modern day life and lack of down time are causing many of us to experience fatigue and in certain cases this can lead to more serious health problems.
Key signs of low energy can include
difficulty getting up in the morning
lack of motivation, brain fog, irritability
lethargy and low blood sugar.
There are many factors that may either directly or indirectly contribute or cause low energy including the following:
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Dysglycemia (abnormal blood sugar levels)
- Nutrient deficiency
- Lack of exercise
- Overuse of stimulants
- Anaemia (iron deficiency)
- Side effects from certain medications
- Under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
It is also important to note that free radicals are generated constantly near the mitochondrial membrane and can damage mitochondrial proteins over time which can significantly decrease mitochondrial function.
As we age it has been found that skeletal muscle mitochondrial ATP synthesis decreases. Fortunately there are various lifestyle and dietary factors, which may include food supplements, which can be implemented to support optimal energy production
Many people’s diets fall short in various micronutrients and modern day life stressors can increase the requirement for nutrients in the body. Even the perfect diet may not provide adequate nutrition as the nutrient content of food can be impacted by factors such as the soil it is grown in, the harvesting techniques as well as transportation and storage conditions.
Taking a broad spectrum multivitamin is a good way to make up any shortfall in the diet that may be having a negative effect on energy production in the body. Formula VM-75® is a comprehensive, convenient one-a-day, high-potency multivitamin with chelated minerals. Just one tablet a day provides 75mg of all the key B vitamins, which help support energy production in the body and can be supportive for those with a stressful lifestyle. The broad range of minerals are provided in highly absorbable forms such as picolinates and bisglycinates