Ron Davis talks Mitochondria
Video from the #MillionsMissing San Francisco rally demanding support for patients suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS
Ronald W. Davis is the Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center at Stanford University. Wikipedia says:
In October, 2013, Davis was listed in The Atlantic as one of the greatest innovators currently working: “A substantial number of the major genetic advances of the past 20 years can be traced back to Davis in some way.”
Ron Davis has a son named Whitney. Whitney has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS. Parts of his story appear in Forgotten Plague, an excellent documentary that you can watch on Amazon for free if you have Prime. Whitney’s case is very severe.
“So Metabolon spent 20,000 dollars of their own money analyzing [Whitney, Ron’s son]. I looked at those results and it was very clear what was wrong with my son. I looked at all sorts of other blood tests that didn’t show anything. […] This is what’s called Metabolomics: looking at all the metabolites in your blood — 4000–5000 or so compounds in your blood.
It was very clear he had a problem generating energy. Now this is not just, Oh, you don’t walk around very well — this is biochemistry. This is not something that is laziness. He simply doesn’t have the compounds he needs in his blood to be able to generate sufficient energy.
That’s all a function of mitochondria: They are small organelles in every cell in your body. They generate all the energy that you need, usually burning glucose.
That can explain a very large number of symptoms.
Your gut uses a lot of energy. You will have gut problems.
Your brain uses a lot of energy. You will have brain problems.
Your muscles uses a lot of energy. You’ll have a hard time doing any kind of exercise.
It’s a systemic problem, not located in any particular organ; it’s your whole body.”
“A lot of people call this mitochondrial dysfunction. I don’t think that’s quite the proper term. I think it’s more of a mitochondrial shut-down.
The reason for that is: There’s no real defect going on here; it’s not something caused from the outside. It’s something actually happening in your body. We have to figure out what that is.
You can go back and look at other organisms. One of the furthest back organisms I’ve looked at are bacteria. Some species of bacteria can shut down their energy production. When they shut down their energy production, they become resistant to antibiotics. That’s something that’s probably a billion years old.
I think possibly what we’re viewing here is a very ancient, fundamental process of life: That when you are stressed (like with a viral infection) your body shuts down to try to prevent harm. The problem is it doesn’t seem to restart.