Mitochondria and Mental Health: A treatment revolution

May 28, 2024

The role of Mitochondria in mental health is starting to be understood in new and profound ways that is set to transform the mental health field. Mitochondria are now implicated in most mental health diagnoses and are being understood to be at the heart of how the body and mind interact.

Mitochondria are heavy hitters in metabolism and our understanding of their role has moved well beyond purely the production of energy (ATP) towards being involved in many matabolic processes across the body. Some of their important functions include regulation of epigenetics (which genes get turned on or off), the production, regulation and release of key neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine), primary regulators of hormones (cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone), turning inflammation on and off and they have a direct role in regulating stress response (be that from physical, emotional or psychological stressors).  As you can see they lie at the heart of every biological process that drives mental health symptoms. There are trillions of mitochondria in the human body with some cells containing one and others containing hundreds.

Dr Chris Palmer, Assistant Harvard Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School lies at the heart of this emerging understanding of mental health and below is a video if him succinctly explaining the importance of mitochondria.


    There are many factors that influence mental health, including life experiences, lifestyle, genetics and traumas and now we understand that mitochondria are another important piece of the puzzle. Our experiences affect how our bodies regulate metabolic responses and our metabolic responses affect our mind and emotions. At the heart of this are mitochondria and long term stress will impact the functioning of our mitochondria. Ineffective mitochondria negatively impact most aspects of body and mind functioning. The good news is that there is hope and that there are natural ways to replenish our mitochondria.

    Ways to renew mitochondria and boost metabolic health:

    If you’d like to hear more about how IHHT could help renew your cells and support your mental health and wellbeing journey, please get in touch here.