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Abstract

Mitochondria play a key role in both health and disease. Their function is not limited to energy production but serves multiple mechanisms varying from iron and calcium homeostasis to the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, such as melatonin. They enable and influence communication at all physical levels through interaction with other organelles, the nucleus, and the outside environment. The literature suggests crosstalk mechanisms between mitochondria and circadian clocks, the gut microbiota, and the immune system. They might even be the hub supporting and integrating activity across all these domains. Hence, they might be the (missing) link in both health and disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction is related to metabolic syndrome, neuronal diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, and inflammatory disorders. In this regard, diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and chronic pain are discussed. This review focuses on understanding the mitochondrial mechanisms of action that allow for the maintenance of mitochondrial health and the pathways toward dysregulated mechanisms. Although mitochondria have allowed us to adapt to changes over the course of evolution, in turn, evolution has shaped mitochondria. Each evolution-based intervention influences mitochondria in its own way. The use of physiological stress triggers tolerance to the stressor, achieving adaptability and resistance. This review describes strategies that could recover mitochondrial functioning in multiple diseases, providing a comprehensive, root-cause-focused, integrative approach to recovering health and treating people suffering from chronic diseases

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This paper was published in Directory of Open Access Journals.

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