Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Supplements: Micronutrients and Mitochondria

Published By: Dr. Jeffrey Mark
Date: May 01, 2021

Hi, it's Dr. Jeffrey Mark here.  Many of you have followed this series on essential supplements that we all need.

I have recommended supplements as an important part of all our programs involving anti-aging, functional, and regenerative medicine. 

We’ve recently discussed how the soil no longer provides abundant nutrients, how we are feeding our livestock with mostly genetically modified grains and corn, and how most of us are not eating a wide enough variety of vegetables and nutrients.

Supplements are not just a  convenience but arguably a necessity in our modern times to optimize our health.  Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve listed the first 3 most important nutrients to supplement.

I’ve found that over 80 percent of people I see are vitamin D deficient and as a likely consequence of this almost all of the people I see with inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune patients improve in whatever treatment plan we use once their vitamin D is corrected.

The number two supplements I have people take are omega fatty acids including omega 3 with DHA and EPA in balance with omega 6, 7, and 9.  Most of these fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and in the right balance, they help optimize brain function including memory, learning, and mood.

I covered the third major supplement I recommended for everyone which is the  B vitamins, especially methyl folate and methylcobalamin last week.

We discussed taking a specific blend of the B vitamins called B supreme which supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism, a healthy nervous system with adrenal and immune function, cardiovascular health, and healthy mental function and mood.

Also, advanced glycation end products or AGEs are reduced resulting in a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

This week I’d like to talk about the essential antioxidants and:

Micronutrients that support the mitochondria

Our cells depend on the mitochondria to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP which is the currency that keeps our body’s economy working allowing us to breathe, move, and think.

I have given extensive talks about the mitochondria elsewhere but today I want to focus on the following nutrients:

Acetyl L-carnitine, N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC), and alpha lipoic acid. 

We’ll also talk briefly on key micronutrients and phytonutrients including green tea, broccoli seed extract, and resveratrol. Additional vitamins E and C play a role in mitochondrial energy production as well.

Acetyl L-carnitine

Acetyl L-carnitine

Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is an amino acid that is associated with increased energy production. It has been shown to increase the flow of free fatty acids like what we talked about with the omega fatty acids previously.

These free fatty acids are the fuel source for mitochondria, resulting in a significant boost in energy production. As we age, free radical production increases oxidative damage to the mitochondria, which can potentially decrease energy production.

Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) has been shown to increase cellular energy (ATP) production and has been found, in combination with alpha lipoic acid, to lower oxidative stress.

Studies have also shown that Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) supports the immune response by protecting CD4 and CD8 immune cells and by supporting the reproduction of lymphocytes for the identification and elimination of invading antigens.

This is part of the T lymphocyte immune system which supports the B lymphocyte immune system which makes antibodies.

N-acetyl Cysteine

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and promotes liver detoxification. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) has been shown to increase the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant found in the body.

In addition to its antioxidant activity, glutathione boosts the immune system by activating T-cells, helping to maintain immune balance.

I’ve discussed glutathione and N-acetyl cysteines extensively elsewhere with their role in maintaining an appropriate balanced immune response to viral infections so a cytokine storm situation can be avoided.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant and also plays a key role in recharging other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10, and glutathione.

Alpha lipoic acid also plays a key role in detoxification. Studies have shown that a combination of Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and acetyl L-carnitine helps minimize oxidative damage.

Oxidative stress causes damage to DNA, RNA, proteins, mitochondrial membranes, and lipids and contributes to the functional decline of mitochondria, cells, tissues, and eventually organs such as the brain.

You have to be careful with the amount of alpha lipoic acid you take, however, as high sustained amounts over 600mg can affect thyroid function leading to hypothyroidism.


Resveratrol is a polyphenol molecule found in many plant species including grapes and cranberries and is found in high concentrations in wine.

Polyphenols act as antioxidants that protect plants from damage that can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and radiation.

Resveratrol is believed to be the dietary factor behind the “French Paradox” which is the high rate of cardiovascular wellness in the French population, despite their high fat intake.

In addition to its antioxidant properties and support for cardiovascular function, resveratrol has been shown to support optimal immune function.

Green tea

Green tea polyphenols

Green tea polyphenols have demonstrated significant antioxidant, probiotic, and immune-supporting properties.

The hydroxyl group of green tea polyphenols supports antioxidant activity by forming complexes with free radicals and neutralizing them, minimizing oxidative damage throughout the body.

Green tea polyphenols also stimulate the activity of liver detoxification enzymes, promoting the detoxification of harmful chemicals out of the body.

While all the antioxidant nutrients I’ve just discussed are each and of their own needed to optimize your health, if you put them together in the right combination and add Brocolli seed extract, key vitamins like vitamins A, B, and E, and key micronutrients you could have a synergistic or amplified antioxidant and ultra-mitochondria supportive cocktail.

We actually created this “cocktail” and called it MitoMax.

Let me first tell you about broccoli seed extract.

Broccoli Seed Extract

Broccoli seed extract contains a high amount of glucoraphanin, a compound that is a precursor to sulforaphane. Sulphoraphane is a potent antioxidant in the body and also supports detoxification and immune response.

Sulphoraphane has been shown to induce Phase II detoxification enzymes and raise intracellular glutathione levels.

Phase I detoxification prepares the toxic substance to be ready to change from a fat-soluble or toxin dissolved in fat to a water-soluble form which means it can be excreted by stool, urine, or sweat.

During this Phase 1 the toxin is actually more potent and more damaging so as soon as you get through Phase 1 you don’t want any delays in getting to Phase 2.

That is one of the reasons we put a specific potent broccoli seed extract into MitoMax.  I have a detoxification video that goes through this extensively if you would like more information.

To increase cellular energy production efficiently, optimal levels of critical nutrients and enzyme cofactors must be achieved. MitoMax is a multivitamin with an optimized backbone of vitamins and minerals necessary for increasing energy output and meeting daily nutritional needs.

We included the following ingredients:

  • Vitamin A (from 5,000 IU as Natural Beta Carotene)
  • Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid USP)
  • Vitamin D (D3 as Cholecalciferol)
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) (from Thiamine Hydrochloride USP)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2 USP)
  • Niacin (as Niacinamide USP)
  • Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride USP)
  • Folate (from 800 mcg as Quatrefolic® (6S)-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic acid glucosamine salt)
  • Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin)
  • Biotin Pantothenic Acid (as d-Calcium Pantothenate USP), Choline,  Calcium (as Calcium Citrate USP)
  • Iodine (from Potassium Iodide)
  • Magnesium (as DiMagnesium Malate)
  • Zinc (as TRAACS® Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate, Selenium, Manganese (as TRAACS® Manganese Bisglycinate Chelate)
  • Chromium (as O-Polynicotinate)‡ Potassium (as Potassium Citrate USP)
  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine USP Acetyl L-Carnitine Hydrochloride Malic Acid (as DiMagnesium Malate)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid Mixed Tocopherols Green Tea Leaf Extract (Standardized to contain 45% EGCg (Epigallocatechin gallate))
  • Broccoli Seed Extract (TrueBroc® ) (Standardized to contain 13% Sulforaphane Glucosinolate)
  • Inositol NF trans -Resveratrol (from Polygonum cuspidatum (Roots).


We designed MitoMax with 3 key factors in mind:


  1. Micronutrient Essential Foundation

Cellular energy production requires adequate nutritional cofactors. MitoMax provides key micronutrients to ensure the cycle of energy production is established.

  1. Optimizing Ignition—The Power Trio

MitoMax works by combining acetyl L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, and N-acetyl cysteine to recharge cellular energy production and increase antioxidant protection.

  1. Optimizing Protection—Bioactive Phytonutrient

MitoMax provides plant compound “signals” to stimulate proper mitochondrial function and guard against mitochondrial degeneration.

So to be in good health you need your mitochondria to be optimized so you can have excellent liver detoxification, immune function, cardiovascular function, and brain function.

Key micronutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants are needed.

You can get some of these from the diet but it’s getting harder and harder to do and supplementation is a way to get all adequate nutrients in a consistent day-to-day manner to optimize the mitochondria.

We’ve made it easier by putting all these nutrients formulated in one product, MitoMax.  For more information or to purchase you can click here for  4 capsules a day to optimize your mitochondria.

If you want to learn about how functional medicine can help you with gut health, brain health, or immune health, you can contact us at or call (925) 736-9828.

For more information on  B Supreme to optimize mental function and mood, cardiovascular health, and immune function, click on this link, call our office at (925) 736-9828, or email Click here for information on  Omegas Complete to optimize brain health and memory, support heart health, and modulate the inflammatory response.

For comments, questions, or if you wish to learn more about AFH  supplements. You can call us at (925) 736-9828 or email us at To purchase Omegas Complete click here. Take care and stay healthy.

Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine. IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.
Dr. Jeffrey Mark
With over thirty years of experience, Dr. Mark is a leading expert in holistic gut health. His integrative approach combines conventional medicine, functional and regenerative medicine, and advanced therapies to heal the gut and transform patient health. Holding 5 board certifications, Dr. Mark offers the comprehensive expertise of five medical specialists during each patient visit. He is dedicated to optimizing wellbeing by addressing the gut-related root causes of chronic health issues.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram