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Renascent Systems, teaching about NADH - Life's Energy Source
|How NADH creates energy inside the
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NADH is the reduced form of coenzyme #1. It's called coenzyme #1 because it ranks in importance above all other coenzymes in the body. The dictionary defines a coenzyme as a vitamin or a mineral.
When coenzyme #1 gets oxidized in a cell, energy is released and made available to the cell. This energy is used for the cellular work that needs to be done. The oxidation process takes place in the energy producing portion of the cell, called the mitochondria.
There are many mitochondria found within each cell. Within each mitochondria, is a well organized, cascade of processes where NADH and oxygen combine to form energy.
Each NADH creates a lot of energy, relative to its size. One NADH ignites enough glucose fuel to create 3 units of ATP energy. ATP energy is consumed for all reactions in the body (like the movement of muscles, nerve energy, etc.)
The organization of these many processes are amazing. They have to be perfectly lined up for energy production to work. The collection of these lined up processes is called the electron transport chain.
The above picture is an attempt to represent the electron transport chain with its elements lined up, ready for NADH. Each NADH bounces its way down a chain of elements. The elements are lined up so an NADH molecule can easily bounce again down the chain of energy producing events.
One NADH creates 1 ATP energy unit in 3 separate events. One molecule of NADH creates a total of 3 ATP energy units before NADH needs to be recycled. As you can see there are lots of complex actions & reactions happening within these cellular mitochondrion power plants. For a more detailed explanation of this complex subject take the Guided Tour (if you haven't done so already.)
Our brain, heart and muscles need the most energy. It is interesting to know that these tissues have the highest concentrations of NADH. The more NADH these tissues cells have available, the more energy each cell has available to work. The opposite is also true. The less NADH each cell has available, the less energy each cell has to work with.
|Where does NADH come
We can obtain more NADH from our diet or from a dietary supplement. Either way NADH has to come from outside the body. The body doesn't make NADH.
Somehow stress, fatigue, old age, environmental chemicals, and disease have damaged or depleted NADH supplies. Even with enough glucose & oxygen (fuel & air) some cellular engines just don't produce enough power. Maybe it's time to try some new NADH supplied energy.
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Last modified: August 5th 2014