Take Care of Your Mitochondria – Keep Pesticides Away from Them

The mitochondria in human cells form the life force or battery to keep all body functions in order. Mitochondria is a critical component that is to be protected at all times. Any disruptions in its functions or health can make your metabolic systems go haywire. An important concern facing health care specialists in today’s world pertains to the bad effects of pesticides on the mitochondria present in cells. Contrary to the popular belief that pesticides can impact overall human health and environmental issues only, pesticides are also capable of taking your mitochondrial cells for a toss. 

Mitochondria or ‘biological cells’ are responsible for generating energy in your cells. They are also effective in detoxifying your internal system. Providing adequate support for the immune system in your body, these important parts of your cells can be badly affected by pesticides. Read on to know how pesticides can harm the mitochondria in your cells and why it’s essential to keep them far away for enjoying better health and body functions. 

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are specially formulated industrial compounds that are mainly used in the agriculture sector. They are composed of chemicals and are effective in neutralizing unwanted worms, insects, and pests. There are two different kinds of pesticides – herbicides and insecticides. They are used for treating weeds and bugs (respectively) and eliminating them eventually. It is common to find horticulturists and farmers using pesticides for the protection of their crops. Pesticides also make their way into homes and small farms with owners using them for protecting their yards, gardens, or produce from unwarranted insects and bugs. Though it may sound a bit far-fetched, pesticides are also instrumental in inviting harmful consequences for living creatures, including human beings. 

Pesticides and Their Effect on Mitochondria

Pesticides have the potential of damaging mitochondria. The effect of pesticides on human cells is such that the production of energy gets reduced. Moreover, they can be the cause of the death of cells. Are you experiencing the symptoms of exposure to pesticides? Over a period of time, if your cells remain exposed to pesticides, then this might be causing the issue related to the incidence of different diseases and illnesses. Thankfully, the harmful effects of pesticides on mitochondria in cells can be prevented. Proper supplements, nutrition, and lifestyle changes have to be implemented to curtail the damages caused by pesticides. 

Pesticides that Damage Mitochondria

The following pesticides are considered damaging for your mitochondria and come in the way of their normal functioning. It’s best to prevent exposure to these toxins to keep your health under check. 


Your mitochondria have an essential responsibility of generating energy for the cells in your body. A larger chunk of this energy production is found in the electron transport chain. The process deals with the passing of electrons across different carrier proteins that are arranged in series. The process can be compared to that of runners passing their batons in any relay race. The presence of glyphosate has the capacity of ‘tripping’ the runners, because of this, the mitochondria in the cells end up producing a lesser amount of energy. Glyphosate may also make the mitochondrial membranes collapse. Glyphosate is a type of non-specific herbicide. It has the potential of killing almost all kinds of plants. It can contaminate the food items in your kitchen, your drinking and washing water, as well as the air present in your garden. This herbicide is used for treating corn, cotton, canola, soya beans, sugar beets, barley, wheat, alfalfa, and so forth. 

  1. Paraquat 

Paraquat is mostly used on bananas. It is found in an herbicide referred to as Gramoxon and has the scientific name of Paraquat dichloride. As paraquat is extremely toxic, it can be used under license only. Commercial farmers have been using paraquat for controlling weeds. The act is performed when the herbicide interferes with energy production during the process of photosynthesis. Paraquat is also used or the production of different crops such as cotton, corn, soya beans, coffee, and palm oil. 

This pesticide is very dangerous for those who are exposed to it directly. The absorption of paraquat takes directly into the layers of the skin to impact your cells gravely. In fact, this direct exposure to the pesticide increases the permeability of your skin; resultantly, it starts absorbing more toxic chemicals to harm your mitochondrial cells. In the same manner as glyphosate, the pesticide interferes with the function of the “runners” that pass on electrons inside the mitochondria. Another bad effect of this pesticide is that it causes oxidative stress as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn triggers off cell death. 

  1. Chlorpyrifos 

Chlorpyrifos is very useful for killing pests of the likes of termites, fleas, ticks, and cockroaches. It also works well on the insects that are known to harm the commonly grown crops. Dursban and Lorsban are some common products comprising of chlorpyrifos. In most cases, the insecticide causes damage by overstimulating the nervous system of insects and killing them eventually. In the same way, the pesticide can cause havoc in your nervous system and brain-related functions. Chlorpyrifos can be encountered in humans in certain consumer products, food items, and the environment. It is also instrumental in the growth of several crops like soya beans, corn, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale, tree nuts like almonds, and so forth. The presence of pets at home also introduces you to the dangers of this pesticide. Chlorpyrifos is capable of breaking down the mitochondria in human cells and is capable of causing irreversible damages. 

Save your Mitochondria from Pesticides

Atrazine, rotenone, trichlorfon, and dicamba are some other pesticides that harm the mitochondria in your cells and lead to multiple health issues. It is important to get in touch with your health care specialist for treating the harmful effects of pesticides (in case you’re experiencing any health issues because of unwarranted exposure or contamination). It’s important to take the appropriate steps at the earliest to keep pesticide-related diseases, infections, and illnesses away. Take care. 

Kenneth Bennett Atticus

Atticus Bennett: Atticus, a sports nutritionist, provides dietary advice for athletes, tips for muscle recovery, and nutrition plans to support peak performance.