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Q. What kind of mitochondrial poisoning can stay in body for longer period?

Answered by
Dr. Arul
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 23, 2016 and last reviewed on: Feb 10, 2020

Hello doctor,

Do you know what kind of mitochondrial poison can stay in the body for more than five years? I have a patient with symptoms which looks like a mild mitochondrial poisoning for the past five years. There are only few mitochondrial poisons. So, do you think any one of them can stay in the body for such a long period?

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Usually the mitochondrial toxicity (poisoning) occurs due to some natural toxins from animals and plants or synthetic.
  • In current days, the mitochondrial toxicity is majorly due to synthetic chemicals as human destroyed many toxic plants and animals in the living place.
  • The toxin may either inhibit electron transport in mitochondria or uncouple the oxidative phosphorylation reaction cascade or inhibits oxidative phosphorylation.
  • Whatever the mechanisms, the mitochondrial toxins can either kill the person as early as possible or person will not die if he escapes the death immediately. The physiological basis for the death is oxygen deprivation or unable to utilize oxygen by the body.
  • In my knowledge, there is no poison which can stay in the body (in mitochondria) for more than five years. If it could not kill the person immediately that means the given dose is low, then the drug gradually get excreted from the body.
  • The time for its excretion, disposal from body, is based on its chemical nature. No such toxins available to stay for more than five years.
  • I think there is one more possibility for the chronic mitochondrial symptoms. The toxin may initially damage mitochondrial DNAs and then gets excreted out of the body few years ago.
  • The genetic damage might have lead to mutation, which is alteration in DNA pattern. This may lead to the permanent damage of mitochondria, thus having persistent symptoms. Such drugs and chemicals are called as hit and run drugs.
  • In such cases, the drug has been already excreted out, thus cannot be detected from the body. But, the damage or chemical effect persists.
  • The mitochondrial DNA damage can be diagnosed through biotechnological methods, for which patient needs to give a small piece of (biopsy) muscle. This is the good idea to subject the patient for laboratory diagnosis for mitochondrial DNA damages.

For further information consult a pharmacologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/pharmacologist


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