Brandt R Gibson, DPM
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Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
In all the cells of the body, a specialized structure called the mitochondria functions as an energy source for the cell.  This energy source is the key to providing all cells with the energy required to function.  As this structure starts to malfunction, insufficient energy is produced and the cell starts to fail or even die.  Let me provide a simple analogy:

A fuel tank sits under my car and a gas line flows into the engine to help the vehicle move.  If insufficient fuel is in the tank, insufficient fuel flows to the engine.  But what if the gas line is broken or blocked, even with sufficient fuel the engine is unable to function.  Similarly, a small crack in the fuel tank will also cause insufficient fuel over time, but as you continue to add fuel, it will continue to work although less efficiently. 

Although a simple analogy, three simple conclusions can be drawn about mitochondria and neuropathy:

  1. Insufficient Nerve Nutrients can lead to poorly functioning mitochondria and associated neuropathy (even without mitochondria damage).
  2. Poor Functioning Mitochondria can lead to poor utilization of available nerve nutrients and similarly produce neuropathy.
  3. Higher Nutrient Levels Can Supercede Poor Mitochondria Functioning. This may be a simple option to treat many forms of peripheral neuropathy by giving sufficient nutrients to allow even a inefficient mitochondria to produce the necessary energy.

Since more and more studies are showing a mitochondrial link with peripheral neuropathy, we recommend a nutritional approach to many forms of neuropathy.
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