In the end, mitochondrial failure is the source of all death – either directly or indirectly.
The cells of the body are electrochemical in nature. The cellular electrochemical balance defines the operational integrity of a cell. Everything else is built on top of this platform. Remember the first two laws of thermodynamics – energy cannot be created or destroyed, just transformed and energy will always flow from a high state to a low state. Protons and electrons are the chemical entities that move from one atom of one molecule to another atom of another molecule – and they always flow downhill. In order to keep our cellular battery charged, we are constantly and intentionally creating high energy metabolites that have high-energy electrons. These high energy electrons are like hot potatoes – the metabolites holding them desperately want to get rid of them. Ultimately, all of these high energy electrons are neutralized by gaseous oxygen into water. The safe way to do this is in the mitochondria. If the mitochondria are not working effectively or if they are overwhelmed, oxygen will react with these high energy electrons to form a superoxide radical before it can be neutralized to water.
To access the FREE seminars with full presentations and videos please visit Dr. Goodenowe’s resource site here. This is the article for seminar A105, Longevity and Immortality (Series A).
Our cells have a number of temporary back-up procedures to handle intermittent imbalances. However, if these back-up procedures become overwhelmed, the cell attempts a last-ditch attempt to maintain its electrochemical integrity by spitting these high energy electrons out of the cell into the extracellular environment. Once outside the cell, they are either neutralized or they will react with the lipids on the outer membrane of the cell to create peroxides, which is like rancid oil. This is when the outside world learns that the cell is out of control. Cells are like the houses in your neighborhood, you really don’t know what is going on at your neighbors until a chair comes flying out a window and lands on the front lawn. When the outer membrane begins to get oxidized, this is a signal to your immune system that something is wrong. Immune cells then move to the unhealthy cell and destroy it and clean up the debris.
Dr. Goodenowe explains the relevant research and literature regarding the biochemical pathways that cause cellular death in seminar A105 – The Biochemistry of Death.