Mitochondrial Aging and Decay – Part 2

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, Carragher Method, fatigue, INTERMITTENT FASTING, KETONES, loss of energy, low energy, mitochondria, NAD, weight gain, Weight LossLeave a Comment

Mitochondrial Aging and Decay – Part 2

This is the second entry of a two-part blog on cellular and mitochondrial decay and aging. In the first blog, I talked about how exercise affects mitochondrial and cellular health. If you missed it, please click here!

I’m going to talk about four specific treatments and interventions that can improve mitochondrial and cellular function. If you’re interested in slowing aging on the cellular level (or reverse cellular aging), you won’t want to miss this.

4 Ways to Slow Mitochondrial Decay & Reverse Cellular Aging

1. Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+)

One of the reasons our bodies begin to show the signs of aging over time begins at the cellular level. Inside your cells are signaling proteins called sirtuins that regulate mitochondrial health and play a crucial role in determining the rate at which you age. Sirtuins also repair chromosome breaks. When functioning properly, sirtuins can sense internal biological hazards and protect your cells from damage and/or death.  This has implications on many unwanted symptoms of aging and disease. In short, you want your sirtuins to function properly!

Mitochondrial sirtuins require Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) to function properly.  I see NAD+ as being gasoline for sirtuins.  Sadly, your NAD+ levels fall as you age.  There’s no clear answer to why this happens. It could be that as you age and cellular breakdown increases, you require more sirtuins and they have to work harder to prevent further cell breakdown.

There are different strategies out there to raise NAD+ levels – from oral capsules to daily injections to IV infusions.  It’s important to work with a knowledgeable physician to determine the best way to keep your NAD+ levels optimal and therefore increase your mitochondria and keep them working robustly. This is just one great way to address and reverse cellular aging.

2. Ketone Esters

 Another way to reverse cellular aging is Keone Esters. Ketone esters are literally a drink that you down in order to increase blood ketones and support a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is an extremely low carbohydrate, low protein diet that has become popular in recent years for its beneficial effects in burning stored body fat, increasing energy, and improving mental focus. Research also suggests that ketogenic diets increase mitochondria production. As your body transitions away from using glucose as a source of energy, blood ketones are produced that take the job of providing cellular energy.

Physicians recommend the ketogenic diet to treat a variety of diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Autism
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • ADHD
  • And more…

The ketogenic diet also affects the health of your mitochondria. A study published this year shows that ketogenic diets in combination with intermittent fasting influence longevity and energy pathways (when I say energy, think mitochondria).

To accelerate the benefits of a ketogenic diet, I encourage the use of supplemental ketone esters. Taken as a daily liquid supplement, ketone esters increase the bioavailability of blood ketones to improve the effects of the ketogenic diet.

3. Reverse Aging Intermittent Fasting

Reverse aging Intermittent fasting (IF) is a caloric restrictive lifestyle where you restrict calories for a certain length of time.  There are many ways to incorporate reverse aging intermittent fasting from a daily approach (all your calorie for the day in an 8 hour window) to alternating day 24-hour fasts, and even several days fasting.  I think a good place to start is the classic 16:8 hours fast where all of your calories for the day must be consumed in an 8 hour period followed by 16 hours of fasting.

The age-reversing benefits of reverse aging intermittent fasting include activating pathways which are crucial to mitochondrial health. Intermittent fasting supports the creation of new mitochondria as well as removing and repairing damaged mitochondria.

An added benefit to reverse aging intermittent fasting is that you will have more energy and burn body fat faster as fasting naturally keeps your insulin levels lower for longer. So your body has no other choice that to burn your body fat for fuel. The longer you fast, the more fat you will burn.

If you are going to give fasting a try, ketone esters are an excellent way to provide cellular energy during your fasting window, so if you want to give reverse aging intermittent fasting a try, consider supplementing with supplemental ketone esters.

In my practice I recommend intermittent fasting and supplementation with ketone esters together for best results. It’s very important to have a specific plan in place under the guidance of a physician to optimize cellular health.

4. Cold and Heat Therapy

A simple but incredibly useful way to increase the health of your mitochondria is by heat and cold therapy. This doesn’t need to be complicated and you can do it at home.

Cold Water Therapy for Mitochondria:

Cold therapy has been shown to increase the number of mitochondria in your cells.  Cold plunges certainly do this best, Cold showers are another strategy that’s simple. Take a cold shower for at least 30 seconds…but I would recommend closer to 2-3 minutes if you can tolerate.

Heat Therapy for Mitochondria:

Whereas cold therapy has been shown to increase the number of mitochondria you have, heat therapy has been shown to improve the efficiency of your mitochondria.  You can do this in a sauna (at least 105 degrees to as high as 170) for 15-30 minutes.  You could even do this at home if you have a steam shower.

For best results, I recommend alternating between hot and cold in the same session.  This jolt to your body will improve your mitochondrial health dramatically.  Simply try intermittently turning the hot off in your shower for 1-2 minutes, then back to hot 1-2 minutes and repeat a few times. It’ll wake you up for sure!

I use heating and cooling therapy at least 3 times per week after I exercise.  If you have access to a cold plunge (many Korean and Japanese spas have them), I recommend the sauna followed by a cold plunge.

Want to know more?

 To take your cellular efficiency to the next level, and maintain the highest level of health as you age, give us a call at (323) 874-9355, or email


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