Health & Spirit

How to have more birthdays

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

The Beatles' "Birthday" song acknowledges the joy you often feel when it's time to celebrate your arrival into this world. And it should be joyous! After all, being a human being bestows you with remarkable abilities to think, create and do wonderful things. But to maximize your journey through your birthdays requires energy -- and we're talking on a cellular level.

The power plant in each cell in your body is its mitochondria. These dynamic organelles convert oxygen and nutrients into a chemical called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that fuels a cell's metabolic activity. Some cells have one big mitochondrion; others may have thousands!

If these Mighty Mitos cannot deliver the energy your body needs, various organ systems suffer, your heart most of all. That's because it's a huge consumer of energy, beating around 3 billion times by age 80! But you can make yourself feel younger.

What prevents mitochondria from doing their job? Often, obesity and diabetes. A new study in Circulation Research found that in folks with diabetes, the mitochondria become misshapen and cause heart cells to overuse fat as fuel. This lipid overload increases your risk of heart failure two- to five-fold.

If you want to see as many birthdays as possible, protect your Mighty Mitos by embracing a diabetes-preventing or diabetes-reversing lifestyle: That's 7 to 9 servings of produce and walking 10,000 steps or the equivalent daily and avoiding all trans and most saturated fats, added sugars and syrups, and highly processed foods. So, take care of your Mighty Mitos!

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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