Impaired Krebs Cycle

Majid Ali, M.D.

Krebs Cycle is a cycle of cellular catalysts that break down food substances to release ATP energy. Since all chronic diseases are energy dysfunctions, they can be considered to be Krebs cycle disorders.


Of central importance in cellular energetics is the Krebs (citric acid, tricarboxylic acid) cycle. In health, this cycle is the true crossroads of both anabolic and catabolic energetics. It is the final common pathway for oxygen-driven breakdown of sugars, fats, and proteins for serving the energy needs of the body. It also provides for the oxygen-driven synthesis of the basic building blocks for structural and functional molecules of the body. All steps in this cycle of energetics are catalyzed by a variety of enzymes and their cofactors. Metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins enter the cycle via acetyl CoA derived from pyruvic acid, fatty acids, and amino acids respectively.


Theoretically, blockages at various levels in the Krebs cycle can be produced when the enzymatic pathways of the Krebs cycle are:

1. Impaired or inactivated by incremental oxidative stress of endogenous and exogenous factors;

2. Hampered by intracellular acidosis resulting from chronic oxidosis;

3. Impeded by the quality and quantity of substrates (discussed below);

4. Rendered inefficient by deficiency of metal cofactors; and

5. Clogged by mitochondrial uncoupling.

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