Monday, July 18, 2011


CARDIOLIPIN ~The Heart of the Matter

The term Cardiolipin (CL) literally means heart fat, because it was first discovered in cow hearts and is one of the most abundant lipids in heart tissue.

Cardiolipin (CL) is a structurally unique dimeric phospholipid found almost exclusively in the inner mitochondrial membrane where it is essential for the optimal function of numerous enzymes that are involved in mitochondrial energy metabolism that produces. In mammalian cells, but also in plant cells, the negatively charged phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) is essential for the optimal function of numerous enzymes that are involved in the respiratory functions of energy metabolism to form of ATP by oxidizing food molecules. In addition to its role in maintaining membrane potential and architecture, CL is known to provide essential structural and functional support to several proteins involved in mitochondrial bioenergetics.

CL is required for the proper structure and activity of several mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes involved in the oxidative generation of ATP and has been proposed to participate directly in proton conduction through cytochrome bc1 and prevent osmotic instability and uncoupling at higher respiration rates. In addition to its role in mitochondrial bioenergetics, CL also plays an essential role in cell apoptosis, mitochondrial biogenesis and the assembly of complex respiratory enzymes. The functional importance of CL probably arises from its unique ability to interact with proteins and its role in maintaining inner membrane fluidity, osmotic stability and may help to make the inner membrane impermeable. Cardiolipin stabilizes supercomplexes of the respiratory chain, thus mitochondria require a constant level of cardiolipin to function correctly. Even subtle deficits in mitochondrial function can cause weakness, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.

Cardiolipin comprises 10% of the total phospholipids of the heart muscles and 25% of the phospholipids of the inner mitochondrial membrane, plus it is a minor component of the lipoproteins in human blood plasma where it is believed to function as an anti-coagulant. It also occurs on the outer membrane of mitochondria at the 4% level, at which point its hexagonal shape connects the outer with the inner membrane, where it interacts with a large number of mitochondrial proteins having a profound influence on vital cell processes. Most importantly this interaction activates enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and photo-phosphorylation, which result in ATP production.

Cardiolipin is also bound to DNA maintaining mitochondrial DNA stability and is involved in the folding of mitochondrial proteins. Thus cardiolipin has a role in gene expression, enzyme systems, cell division, energy metabolism and membrane transport. Cardiolipin is also involved in cholesterol movement from the outer to the inner membrane and thus key to the production of steroid hormones. Testosterone increases basal metabolic rate and may be considered a fat-burning hormone. One of the reasons testosterone raises the metabolic rate is because it is involved in polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis, and significantly modifies the cardiolipin function more toward stimulating oxidative phosphorylation (oxy phos).

Cardiolipin contains four fatty acids, in differing quantities in different cell types depending on their specific energy needs in various regions of the body. In tissues with high respiration rates, such as heart, CL can account for 25% of the phospholipids in the inner-mitochondrial membrane. In most animal tissues cardiolipin is composed of 18-carbon fatty acids, typically linoleic acid, in testis however it contains mainly palmitic acid, while brain cardiolipin has a variety of fatty acids including arachidonic acid and DHA. The omega-9 fatty acid Oleic acid was one of the most prominent components; the chief source of oleic acid in foods is olive oil. The oleic acid protecting phytochemical components of olive leaf may be one of the reasons why olive leaf increases mitochondrial function and reduces the pathogen load, by helping to shift the body over to oxygen burning from a more anaerobic-fermentation state. Linoleic acid also appears to be a component of the cardiolipin in the liver.


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  2. That stuff is what makes you. Don't you want to know who you are?

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