PEMF & Mitochondria
My Study of N=1
…4-Month Follow-Up..
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Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
September 3, 2018

 

 

 

PEMF & Mitochondria

 

I posted my original article, My Study of N=1, on June 4, 2018. Please read my past post to get up-to-speed about my thoughts on PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field), mitochondria, and my investigation. In my article today, I report on my 4-month follow-up.

 

 

My Study

As you know from my previous writing, my wife was my “test subject”. “Test subject” is not an appropriate title. I should say my wife volunteered (or more accurately, I volunteered her) to be my participant in my research project. However, I am aware of the limitations of my study: (1) there was only one participant; (2) there was no control group; (3) I only investigated one PEMF Mat; and (4) my study was not submitted to an Institutional Review Board.

 

Nonetheless, my goal was to explore the possible mitochondrial benefits of the QRS PureWave Total Body Mat in my in-home study. This Mat generates a unique pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF).

 

To accomplish this, I placed the Mat under the mattress cover on our bed. In this position, the Mat was imperceptible and comfortable to lie on. The built-in timer of the control box was set to turn on for 24 minutes about a half-hour after she went to bed. Then, it turned on again for 24 minutes about a half-hour before she would wake. The evening setting was set to “Relax 3”, and the morning setting was set to “Basis 3”. There were no sounds or sensations from the Mat to disturb her sleep.

 

I proceeded to test my wife’s mitochondria using the newly developed MitoSwab Plus Test. MitoSwab Plus is a non-invasive test to evaluate the function of the four critical protein complexes that eventually create energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

 

Most ATP is generated within the mitochondria of every cell in your body. The only human cells that do not have mitochondria are red blood cells. When these protein complexes within the mitochondria weaken and function less than optimal, the result is dysfunction in the mitochondria.

 

To evaluate my wife’s mitochondrial health with MitoSwab Plus, I needed to swab her cheek areas. I used a cotton swab to obtain mucosal samples from her cheeks adjacent to the back teeth on the right and left sides in her mouth. These samples needed to be frozen and then sent to the Lab for testing.

 

I did the first swab test before she began using the PEMF Mat to determine a baseline of her mitochondrial function. Then, I gathered samples of her cheek mucosa after one-month, 2-months, and 4-months from the start-date of the daily use of the Mat.

 

 

Results

I was impressed with the results. Here is the PDF Summary of my wife’s MitoSwab Plus test results, which includes my overall interpretation.

 

Basically, the health of Complexes I, II, III and IV continued to improve over the 4-Month timeframe while using the QRS-PureWave PEMF Mat every day.

 

I believe the pulsed electromagnetic field generated by this Mat was able to re-energize my wife’s mitochondria in her buccal mucosa. It is important to note that this peer-reviewed research showed that the buccal mucosa is a reliable indicator of the health of other mitochondria in the body.

 

 

Next Step

My modest study could be a pilot model for further medical considerations and investigations. In my opinion, a future research protocol could be written and submitted to an Institutional Review Board. The protocol should incorporate a control group (using the Mat that is NOT generating PEMF) and an experimental group (using the Mat as I described in this post). A statistically adequate number of subjects would need to be included to allow reliable conclusions at the completion of the study.

 

 

My Thoughts

PEMF therapy might be an adjunct treatment for chronic diseases. Also, this method might be a means to offset mitochondrial damage from dirty electromagnetic fields (ex: cell phones, WiFi, and other harmful electromagnetic fields). If properly-designed PEMF devices could improve mitochondrial dysfunction, they might be game-changers.

 

 

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PEMF & Mitochondria
My Study of N=1

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
June 4, 2018

 

PEMF & Mitochondria

 

 

 

 

Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy may be a game-changer when it comes to the health of our mitochondria.

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PEMFs are low-frequency, pulsating magnetic fields with wavelengths that can completely penetrate the body.  They are supportive to the body’s natural functions. PEMFs are different from dirty electromagnetic fields (EMFs), sometimes called “electro-smog”.

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Dirty EMFs are constant and are contaminated with very high frequency, short-wavelength surges, all of which are damaging to cellular health. Some sources of dirty EMFs are power lines, metal plumbing, and wireless communication devices.

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Mitochondria are organelles inside the cytoplasm of all the cells in our body except red blood cells. These mitochondria have various roles, one of which is the creation of energy so that our cells can function. Just as a flashlight requires fresh and strong batteries to shine its light brightly, so do our cells require healthy and peak-performing mitochondria to create the energy for our cells to do their jobs efficiently.

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Creation of Energy

Most of the energy for our body is created in the mitochondria. Energy is produced through a biological process called the “Electron Transport Chain” (ETC). Electrons are transferred through the ETC in steps – starting with a protein complex called Complex 1 and then progressing to Complexes II, III and IV. The process ends with Complex V, where energy is produced in the form of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).

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If damage occurs in any of these Complexes, then there is dysfunction in the mitochondria. Dysfunctional mitochondria could lead to decreased ability for a cell to do what it was designed to do. Ultimately, chronic disease would be the result of dysfunctional mitochondria.

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My Study of N=1

There is some evidence that PEMF therapy may improve the health of mitochondria.[1],[2] However, based on my search of PubMed, there has never been a study to demonstrate that damage to the ETC in mitochondria could be repaired by PEMF therapy.

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One challenge has been that there was no non-invasive test to determine the health of the ETC in mitochondria – until now. A recently commercialized, non-invasive test for mitochondrial dysfunction is called MitoSwab Plus. I wrote about this test HERE.

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I set out to do my own human research.

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My wife was my test subject to study the effects of a PEMF Mat. While there are many PEMF devices in the marketplace today, some are not as “clean” and “biologic” as others. I chose the PureWave Full Body Therapy System

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While I am reporting the results of only one person, I believe I had control of all potential “confounding factors”. The only change in my wife’s daily routine over the course of my continuing study was her sleeping on the PureWave PEMF Mat every night.

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This PEMF mat has a shape and feel of a soft yoga mat. I placed the mat under the mattress-cover on our bed. The mat is controlled by a timer that turns itself on for a 24-minute session just after my wife goes to bed and then turns itself on for another 24-mintue session just before she wakes.

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To begin, I tested her mitochondrial function at the start of this experiment and repeated the test 4 weeks later using the MitoSwab Plus test. The Lab results were impressive.

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Results

The baseline data at the start of my Study showed that her mitochondria-per-cell from the sample that was taken were overproducing mitochondria. The test also documented deficiencies in Complex I and Complex III. The overproduction of mitochondria was to compensate for her deficiencies in both complexes. I performed a second MitoSwab Plus test at the 4-week mark.

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The results from the 4-week mitochondria test reported a significant decrease in the overproduction of mitochondria and significant improvements in both Complex I and Complex III.

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I will continue to test my wife’s mitochondria over the next couple of months for more confirmation of improved mitochondrial function. However, these are only the results from one individual. I did not have any control group.

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My Next Step

My next step will be to design a Protocol for a double-blind, randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the PureWave PEMF Mat on the health of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. Then, I will present it to an Institutional Review Board to get the ball rolling.

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To prove the PureWave PEMF Mat is repairing the ETC in dysfunctional mitochondria, my Protocol will consist of a control group and an experimental group. The control group would lay on a mat that was not generating a magnetic field, and the experimental group would lay on a mat that was producing PEMFs. MitoSwab Plus testing would be performed at the beginning and at the end of the study period.

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My goal at the completion of the study is to prove a causal relationship between PEMF therapy and the repair of dysfunctional mitochondria.

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I was Interviewed for
Wise Traditions Podcast

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 28, 2018

 

 

 

Podcasts are an amazing vehicle to get a message to the listening public. I really enjoy the opportunity to voice my passion about what means a lot to me. Recently, I was interviewed by Hilda Labrada Gore for the Wise Traditions Podcast that aired May 28, 2018.

 

This Podcast Series, which launched in January 2016, is part of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Wise Traditions Podcast Series now has over 900,000 downloads. Interviews of guests are published weekly and consist of a 30-minute discussion relating to fields of health, food, and farming.

 

The Weston A. Price Foundation is an important organization. It is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999. Its goal is to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who was the chairman of the National Dental Association from 1914 to 1928. Dr. Price studied isolated non-industrialized peoples. He established parameters of human health and determined optimum characteristics of human diets. His research demonstrated that humans achieve health when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble “activators” found in animal fats.

 

I had fun doing this interview. Take 33 minutes of your time and listen to me and my interviewer, Hilda Labrada Gore, as I describe my views for gut health and dental health including my 5 tweaks for overall health.

 

 

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Dr. Alvin Danenberg & Dr. Steven Lin
Chat on FaceBook Live

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
March 9, 2018

 

 

 

 

Dr. Steven Lin and I had a chat on FaceBook Live. We talked about so many topics including:

  • Bleeding gums, gum disease, and mitochondrial health
  • Vitamin K2
  • Spore-based probiotics
  • Daily Mouthwash: Good or bad?
  • Nitric oxide
  • My recipes: Homemade applesauce, Seaweed soup
  • And much more…..

 

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Bacteria, Mitochondria, Gum Disease:
A Critical Cycle

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 2, 2018

Critical Cycle

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Here is an account that unfolds like the best science fiction tale ever written. It’s the relationship between bacteria and mitochondria, and eventually gum disease. This relationship forms a critical cycle.

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A long, long time ago – about 4 billion years ago – life began on earth as a single-celled organism with no nucleus. [1] Fast forward 2 billion years.

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About 2 billion years ago, bacteria were among the first living organisms. Some of these single-celled bacteria fed on organic compounds to create energy. These bacteria created carbon dioxide and hydrogen as waste products. Other single-celled organisms in existence at the same time fed only on carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Then, an extraordinary and life-changing event occurred.

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A few of the bacteria producing energy from organic compounds successfully entered some of these single-celled organisms, which could not create their own energy from organic compounds. Eventually, these bacteria set up shop in their host cells. The invading bacterial cells created energy for their single-celled host organisms. Now the host cells, with a self-contained energy source from the resident bacteria, could evolve into multi-celled and more-complex entities. The gradual development of these structures eventually led to the makeup of our human cells, each with a self-contained energy-production machine. The origin of this energy-production machine was ancient bacteria. These organelles are called mitochondria.

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Every cell in our body, with the exception of red blood cells, has mitochondria to create the energy to keep it alive. The mitochondria are embedded within the cytoplasm of our 10 trillion human cells. Some individual cells have only a few mitochondria; our most active cells (like heart muscle) may contain as many as 2,400 mitochondria per cell. If these bacteria-like structures in our body’s cells did not function properly, we would get sick – very sick – and eventually would die.

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Functions of Mitochondria

The mitochondria primarily are the batteries of the cell. If the batteries fail, the cell ultimately dies. However, energy production is not the only purpose of our mitochondria. [2] Mitochondria also produce heat as necessary, assist in calcium signaling within the host cell and throughout the body, and will induce cell death (apoptosis) when its host cell is damaged beyond repair. In addition, mitochondria regulate insulin in the cell, synthesize cholesterol and other steroids, and participate in other functions required by specialized cells. Another critical function of mitochondria is to interact intimately with other organelles of the cell, especially peroxisomes, to create cellular homeostasis. [3]

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As a waste product, mitochondria produce free radicals, which must be neutralized. If the mitochondria are damaged beyond repair, the cell would not be able to function as it was designed. For example, a liver cell would not be able to function as a healthy liver cell; a brain cell would not be able to function as a healthy brain cell; a gum tissue cell would not be able to function as a healthy gum tissue cell. In some situations, the cell might begin to replicate out-of-control and become cancerous.

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Gum Disease & Mitochondria

When everything is working correctly, the mitochondria are healthy and functioning at the top of their game. Problems develop when our mitochondria are compromised. Gum disease is one result of dysfunction in the mitochondria within gum tissue cells. [4]

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So, it appears that healthy mitochondria are critical for our oral health, for our cells’ health, and for our existence. Healthy mitochondria are supported by nutrient-dense foods, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and reduction of stress. If mitochondria are not firing on all cylinders, disease will occur. In the past, I wrote about exercise and how it benefits healthy mitochondria. [5]

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Also, the gut microbiome is important for the health of mitochondria. The beneficial bacteria in the gut will produce butyrate, other short chain fatty acids, and lactate from fiber as well as urolithin-A from tannins in food. These metabolites from beneficial bacteria feed healthy mitochondria, support the cells that line the colon, and actually increase diversity in healthy gut bacteria. Since ancient bacteria were the precursors of our modern-day mitochondria, the needs of the mitochondria in our cells are similar to the needs of healthy gut bacteria. There is actually “cross communication” between our gut microbiome and our mitochondria.

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Another important nutrient in all of this is vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is produced by healthy gut bacteria. This vitamin is also available in some fermented foods, organ meats, egg yolks, and grass-fed dairy. Vitamin K2 appears to assist mitochondria by increasing their capacity to create energy.

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So, what will cause mitochondria to malfunction? Mitochondria can become damaged and dysfunctional when necessary nutrients are not available from the gut, when the energy created by mitochondria is less than the free radicals they produce, and when mitochondria are unable to repair themselves or increase their numbers in their host cell. Also, specific environmental elements and medications can be toxic to mitochondria. These include xenoestrogens (estrogen imitators) in the environment, acetaminophen (Tylenol), statins (anti-cholesterol drugs), glyphosate (Roundup), and heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminum.

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Kiran Krishnan, the microbiologist and Chief Science Officer of Microbiome Labs, created a webinar about the interplay between healthy gut bacteria, strong mitochondria, and vitamin K2. [6]

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My Protocol

Based on the research I have uncovered and the information Kiran Krishnan provided and documented in his webinar, I want to assist my patients who have gum disease. Supporting healthy mitochondria must be considered with gum treatment. Current research suggests that supporting the mitochondria’s ability to maintain homeostasis in the cell might be lifesaving. [7] To that end, clinical treatment of active gum disease along with supplements, which support healthy mitochondria, could be an ideal protocol to treat periodontal disease.

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I first treat active gum disease by removing local irritants from under the gum tissues and by teaching effective oral hygiene. When advanced gum disease has created jawbone damage, I use the LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) Protocol [8] to assist the body in regenerating new bone around damaged teeth. [9],[10]

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In addition, I encourage my patients to eat nutrient-dense foods and remove the foods that damage the gut. I’ve written about nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods and a primal lifestyle to support overall health. [11] I even discussed this as it applied to my personal life’s challenges. [12]

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Furthermore, I recommend three supplements to support healthy mitochondria – a probiotic called MegasporeBiotic [13], a vitamin K2 supplement called MegaQuinone K2-7 [14], and a mixture of prebiotic fibers to feed the healthy gut microbiome called PaleoFiber [15].

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Probiotic, Vitamin K2, & Prebiotic

MegasporeBiotic is a unique probiotic that can survive the stomach acidity and set up residence in the intestines. It will increase the population of healthy bacteria in the gut and increase the bacteria’s production of butyrate, urolithin-A, and lactate. This probiotic is supplied by Microbiome Labs.

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MegaQuinone K2-7 is a blend of vitamin K2 and several nutrients required by vitamin K2 to enhance the efficiency of the mitochondria. This K2 supplement also is supplied by Microbiome Labs. (Patients taking certain blood thinners may not be able to take this product.)

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PaleoFiber is a combination of fibers derived from fruits, vegetables, roots, seeds, and tree extracts to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This product is supplied by Designs for Health.

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Dosing:

  • Take two capsules of MegasporeBiotic once a day about 10-20 minutes after a meal so that it can begin providing benefits in the upper intestinal tract. However, it might be necessary to take a smaller dose of the probiotic for a few days and work up to the ideal dose as your body gets used to the probiotic.
  • Take one capsule of MegaQuinone K2-7 with your first meal of the day that contains fat and then another capsule with your last meal of the day that contains fat.
  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of PaleoFiber per day with water or any liquid. You could take it at any time, and you could take more if necessary.

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My recommendation is to take these for at least 60 days. Then, determine the health of the gum tissues. It may or may not be necessary to continue to take these supplements in the future. Some people may want to take them on a regular basis for overall health and quality of life.

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Connecting The Dots:
HIIT, Mitochondria, Gingivitis

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
May 30 2017

 

 

Connecting The DotsIn my new book, Crazy-Good LIVING, I discuss my Four Pillars of Health. One pillar of health is efficient exercise. I explain how efficient exercise is made up of several activities. One effective activity is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The importance of HIIT and the body’s quick and positive response to it are amazing. HIIT will improve the health of your mitochondria and in turn possibly improve your overall health as well as gingivitis. It’s a matter of connecting the dots.

 

HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training is the ultimate beneficial exercise for your mitochondria. You could perform this once a week for eight to twenty-six minutes in total. You might start with a warm up of two minutes before beginning the exercise cycles. Each cycle might consist of (1) seven to thirty seconds of all-out-to-exhaustion pedaling on a recumbent bike or sprinting outside, and (2) rest for about ninety seconds to regain your normal breath. This cycle should be repeated for two to eight times. Then, finish with a two-minute cool down.

 

I use a Nordic Track Classic Pro Skier®, a cross-country ski machine that is set up in my spare bedroom. Usually I use it once a week for four to six cycles depending how I feel that day. I warm up by “skiing” at a slow pace for two minutes. Then, I “ski” at the fastest speed I can muster for twenty-five seconds, and next I rest for ninety seconds. That completes one cycle, which I will repeat until done. At the end of my routine, I feel exhausted – but great.

 

Mitochondria

Inside almost every human cell, there are little vessels called mitochondria. The only human cells lacking mitochondria are red blood cells.

 

Mitochondria are like batteries floating inside the cells’ cytoplasm. Some very busy cells may have thousands of these batteries floating inside each cell. Mitochondria produce all the energy the cell needs to do its work. The mitochondria also assist in ridding our body of toxic substances and flushing out old and no longer useful cells. In addition, mitochondria help genes function optimally.

 

Mitochondria need nourishment. If they do not get all the nutrients they require, they will not function properly. A nutrient-dense diet, as I recommend, is ideal to provide these necessary substances.

 

Compare mitochondria to batteries in a flashlight. If the batteries are strong, the light shines brightly. If the batteries are weak, the light becomes dimmer, even though it may still work. The weak flashlight just doesn’t live up to the standards expected of it. But if you replace weak batteries with  fresh ones, the flashlight will function as it did when it was brand new.

 

If our cells’ mitochondria are not firing on all cylinders, individual cells may function, but the cells’ ability to do what they were designed to do will be compromised. Mitochondria must be kept fresh and strong for peak performance.

 

In this peer-reviewed paper, unhealthy mitochondria were associated with gingivitis and advanced stages of periodontal disease. In contrast, healthy and strong mitochondria might help prevent gingivitis, other forms of periodontal disease, and other chronic diseases.

 

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the dots is critical. Healthy mitochondrial function is critical to overall health. One method to improve our mitochondria is through efficient exercise. Healthy mitochondria are important for overall health but also could prevent gingivitis and other forms of periodontal disease.

 

Two recent papers reveal the significant benefits of HIIT.

 

  • In a study published in 2016, twenty-five sedentary men were divided into three groups: nine performed three weekly sessions of HIIT for twelve weeks; ten performed three weekly sessions of moderate exercise for twelve weeks, and six men served as the non-exercising controls during the study. The details of the study are described in this paper. The final results of this study showed that the men who performed HIIT after twelve weeks improved their biomarkers of heart health and metabolic health easier and faster than those who performed traditional exercise training.

 

 

Closing Thoughts

Science shows healthy mitochondria promote overall health as well as oral health. Researchers have reported that HIIT is an efficient exercise program that could improve the health of the mitochondria within all the cells of the human body. In my opinion based on the published research, supporting the mitochondria through an efficient exercise program in addition to a nutrient-dense diet could go a long way to possibly supporting periodontal health and preventing gingivitis as well as other chronic diseases.

 

 

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