What are mitochondria?

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Energy is Life
Mitochondria are mighty, microscopic, energy-producing structures that are essential to our health. These organelles (specialized structures within a cell performing specific functions) live within almost every cell in our bodies.

Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function. They’re like tiny factories in each of our cells that turn the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe into energy – our body’s major energy source. We cannot survive without them.

Interesting facts about our incredible mitochondria:

  • there are about 10 million billion (100,000 trillion) mitochondria in an adult human!
  • about 2 billion mitochondria are made every second throughout a person’s life
  • the lifespan of a mitochondrion averages around 100 days
  • each mitochondrion contains 17,000 tiny assembly lines for making ATP (energy)
  • mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function
  • heart muscle cells contain far more mitochondria than any other organ in body with about 5,000 mitochondria per cell. By comparison, a biceps muscle has about 200 mitochondria per cell
  • mitochondrial DNA can mutate up to 10x faster than nuclear DNA in an ordinary cell.
  • mitochondria use over 90% of the oxygen we breathe