Lactate is a naturally occurring by-product of normal body metabolism. However, in patients with mitochondrial disease, blocks in the energy producing pathway, the electron transport (respiratory) chain, can lead to the shunting of electrons away from energy production towards additional lactate creation. Under normal circumstances, lactate, an acid, is buffered adequately by the body’s bicarbonate but if abnormal amounts of lactate are produced the body’s buffering system may become overwhelmed creating metabolic acidosis. Several facts regarding lactate and mitochondrial disease are important to understand:
Fran Kendall, M.D.
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