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

Answered by
Dr. Arul Amuthan L
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?



Welcome to

  • 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 -->

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Please suggest the best drug for GAD and social phobia. What are its side effects?

.. your query. Out of the three options, the third option would be the best possible concerning the balance between the effectiveness and side effects. Zoloft (Sertraline) and Lexapro (Escitalopram), both are almost equal regarding the side effects ...   Read full

Myths and Facts About Vaccination

.. new vaccines with better efficacy, and on the other hand, some people just choose to spread their wrong beliefs about vaccination. It results in increasing number of VPDs, that is, vaccine preventable diseases, in the world. It is long enough that...   Read full

Why people abuse alcohol or other substances of abuse?

.. in spite of various adverse outcomes including death? Drug abuse, misuse, and dependence are major issues in society because of their enormous personal, social, and economic costs .. ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

Also Read

Improving the Health and Wellbeing of People Living With Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected tropical diseases can be efficiently treated with various cross-sectoral public health interventions to improv...  Read more»
Holi Colors - Are They Safe?
Holi is known as the festival of colors. But are the colors worth playing with? Let us find out.  Read more»
Onions - Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Side Effects
Onions are an imperative ingredient for most of the main course dishes. Read the article below to learn about them more.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a Wellness Expert online?

Ask a Pharmacologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.