Long Covid – Mitochondrial Support
Updated: Oct 25
Mitochondria make all the energy for your cells. This energy is converted into an
incredibly important molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides
energy to your cells so they can properly function. It’s what allows your heart to beat,
your brain to think and your adrenal glands to make hormones to help you tolerate stress.
The production of ATP is a highly dynamic process. Imagine a large steel plant with
molten steel and hundreds of sparks flying through the air. Now imagine that all of those sparks were radioactive and could damage whatever they came in contact with. Now you have a glimpse into the inner workings of the mitochondria, where highly toxic free radical molecules are a byproduct of ATP production. Free radicals can quickly damage cellular structures they come in contact with, including the membranes and genes of the mitochondria themselves.
Fortunately, nature provides the mitochondria a network of antioxidant molecules to deal with this incessant rain of free radicals.
Key vitamins and antioxidants, (including C, E, CoQ-10), as well as lesser known
molecules including N-acetyl-cysteine (used to make glutathione) and alpha lipoic acid,
are used by your cells to protect highly sensitive structures in the mitochondria from
If your mitochondria work harder than usual, they require higher levels of these critically
important molecules to adequately “cool the reactor” and prevent the spillover of toxic
free radical molecules into the inner mitochondrial environment.
Situations that can cause your mitochondria to need higher levels of antioxidant molecules include increased work stress, increased emotional stress, unhealthy eating habits, increased exercise intensity, ongoing allergies, infections and the presence of toxins
in your environment.
Do you think you’ve experienced any of the above recently? Let’s see…we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s less childcare to help out with the kids, the planet’s climate is becoming less stable and there’s political and racial unrest in our country.
Have any of these events caused you to experience increased stress?
Mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to play a significant role in why long-haulers
syndrome develops and persists.
Pinchas Cohen, professor of gerontology, medicine and biological sciences at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, published a study which showed that Covid-19 directly decreases mitochondrial energy production by inhibiting cellular genes. He states:
“Future work should consider mitochondrial biology as a primary intervention
target for SARS-CoV-2.”
Thirty years ago, while I was caring for several hundred AIDS patients, many of them
developed severe side effects from the early antiviral medications (AZT, D4T, DDI).
These side effects were conclusively linked to mitochondrial toxicity and included severe
fatigue, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy and dementia.
After several years of testing and refinement with multiple micronutrient combinations t
support mitochondrial repair, I identified one specific formula that was able to reverse the clinical effects of mitochondrial toxicity. This cocktail of antioxidant molecules helped my patients re-establish healthier mitochondrial functioning and improve their overall level of health.
The following antioxidant cocktail is taken once or twice daily depending on the severity
of the clinical situation. Its key components include:
• Coenzyme Q-10 50mg
• Alpha lipoic acid 200mg
• Acetyl-L-carnitine 500mg
• N-acetyl-cysteine 600mg
Since mitochondrial nutrients work together as a network, it’s very important to get the
dosage ratio of these micronutrients correct. This is the dosing ratio that improved the
mitochondrial damage in my AIDS patients and it’s also the formula I have used for over
25 years to help patients I’ve treated for fatigue and brain fog improve their health.
By supporting improved mitochondrial functioning, any other treatment, from yoga to
medications, will be more effective and better tolerated. This is because improved
mitochondrial functioning helps the brain, liver and immune system function at their
These four micronutrients are not commonly found in most multivitamins. If they are in
your daily multivitamin, they are usually not present at the dosages necessary to exert a
therapeutic effect on improving mitochondrial functioning. If you already take a separate multivitamin, you may want to add the above mitochondrial support cocktail to it. It is my experience that consuming this formula of micronutrients in the proper dosage ratio will allow you to achieve improved mitochondrial function. Additional nutrients
such as resveratrol, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin C can be added as well.
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Keep Hope Alive!
Jon D. Kaiser, M.D.