Mitochondria are the little powerhouses that live in every cell and tissue in your body except red blood cells. Even your fat cells contain mitochondria. Fat makes up a percentage of body weight and is stored all over the body, under the skin, in the skeletal muscles, around your internal organs.

Fat cells have many mitochondria because your fat cells store a lot of energy. There are different types of fat: White fat (white adipose tissue) which is designed to store fat and brown fat (brown adipose tissue) which is designed for heat generation. White fat is low in mitochondrial density and only stores energy in the form of a single oily droplet whereas brown fat is very high in mitochondria and contains many droplets. White fat is more plentiful in the body than brown fat.

Body fat levels change over a lifetime and are very much affected by age, genetics and lifestyle.

Your Mitochondria have a role to play in this process in that they decrease with both age and inactivity. When they become overburdened through the consuming of too much poor quality food, over time, metabolic madness through disordered energy utilisation and storage and cellular damage through oxidative stress can occur. This can cause havoc with your health and vitality resulting in conditions like obesity and diabetes and cardiovascular disease which are all rife in society today.

But when our environment demands that we are active, our mitochondria will be able to do their job in an optimal way through biogenesis that is the cells ability to expand and increase in number. When we eat food that is organic and unprocessed, we are providing quality fuel for our mitochondria to generate ATP. And when we further restrict the calories we eat, we are again creating mitochondrial biogenesis that Is beneficial for both our health and, therefore, our longevity as well.

Finally, increasing mitochondrial density will help you burn fat more efficiently. White fat is easier to burn than brown fat and there is now evidence that mitochondria burn fatty acids more efficiently than carbohydrates. This backs up the trend for the ketogenic high fat, low carb diets of today.