Supplement Spotlight: Increasing Cellular Energy

This month I wanted to talk about energy.  Not energy as in a cup of espresso, but boosting the body’s overall energy reserves at the cellular level.


With age, many people experience a greater overall fatigue when compared with the energy levels they had in years past.   Many people turn to caffeine or energy drinks to give them an extra boost, but a better way to ensure lasting energy is to start at the cellular level.  Our cells contain mitochondria, which are basically the cell’s “powerhouses” which produce the energy molecule known as ATP.  Tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion are a direct result of diminished ATP in the body.

One little known supplement that is fantastic for boosting the body’s stores of ATP is the mushroom cordyceps.  Cordyceps is a beloved medicinal mushroom from China and has been used for a number of ailments including cancer, diabetes, asthma, immunity, and fatigue.  Research has confirmed cordyceps’ benefit for raising ATP levels, even for subjects with conditions which are known to produce fatigue, like anemia.  One study on elderly patients found improvements in energy levels in 92% of the participants after 30 days.


Another great supplement for energy is panax ginseng.  Panax ginseng is another Chinese herb which has been used for centuries for energy production and stress.  Modern research has found that the reason ginseng is able to make such a difference in a person’s energy levels is its ability to increase ATP production.  It also appears that panax ginseng is able to help the cell’s mitochondria to work more efficiently.