How Fluoroquinolones (antibiotics) Affect Mitochondria

You may have seen in my videos or read on my website that fluoroquinolones can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which causes a variety of symptoms. Here, I’ll break down how and why fluoroquinolones kill both bacteria and mitochondria, and what this means for your body. I’ll also explain what mitochondria do for your body, where they’re located, and why they’re so significant.

mitochindria ATP

Antibiotics kill bacteria

Fluoroquinolones are a class of antibiotics, and each class of antibiotics kills bacteria in a different way. For example, penicillin – which most people are familiar with – destroys the cell membrane of the bacteria, which essentially makes it impossible to survive. Eventually, bacteria became resistant to penicillin, and other antibiotics as well. As a result, fluoroquinolones were developed as another way to destroy the bacteria that had become resistant: by attacking their DNA. The fluoride in the fluoroquinolone molecules is what allows this to happen. It has an affinity for the DNA in bacteria.

Every cell in your body, and every bacteria or mitochondria, has DNA inside of it. The DNA is what tells the cell what it is, and what to do. Without the DNA, that cell is going start to malfunction and eventually die. The fluoroquinolones attach to the DNA and inhibit replication, which is a death sentence for the cell. Imagine you make a thousand copies of an original photo, each with just a slight bit of degradation. You might not be able to see the difference between one and the next, but if you compare the original to the thousandth copy, you’ll notice a huge drop in quality. This is what happens in your cells when there’s an issue with DNA replication.

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Fluoroquinolones can’t tell the difference between bacteria and mitochondria

Research shows that at one time, mitochondria were simply bacteria. Somewhere down the evolutionary chain, bacteria in cells became beneficial to humans, and they evolved into the mitochondria which are now present in our cells. As you might imagine, this means that bacteria and mitochondria still look very similar. They’re the same size, reproduce in exactly the same way, and each have their own DNA arranged rather loosely inside the cell membrane.


Thousands and thousands of mitochondria exist in each of the cells in the human body. Some organs have more of them, like the heart, which is always pumping and requires more energy to function. But the mitochondrial DNA is much more exposed than the DNA inside the nucleus of the cell, which is tightly packed around histones and wrapped into a chromosome. By contrast, mitochondrial DNA is floating loosely inside the mitochondria and is much less safe and secure. And, as we mentioned earlier, they look strikingly similar to bacteria.

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The Function of Mitochondria

Unfortunately, the fluoroquinolones – which were meant to kill harmful bacteria to treat an illness – can’t tell the difference between this harmful bacteria and your mitochondria. They attack the mitochondrial DNA, inhibiting replication. Without the DNA, the mitochondria can’t perform its essential function: to produce energy. ATP synthesis, or the production of energy, is the mitochondria’s job. If your mitochondria are affected, it will affect energy production, which will affect the cell, which affects the organ, which affects you.


There are many ways in which the mitochondria can be damaged. Chronic inflammation, aging, or being Floxed are all examples of things that can harm your mitochondria. In addition, damaged mitochondria can affect a variety of cells throughout the body. Nerve cells, for example, require mitochondria to function. So does your small intestine. So do your mucus membranes. Literally every cell in your body has them, and not just one or two – literally hundreds to thousands. So, when you experience symptoms like leaky gut, or dry mouth, or neuroinflammation, this could be a result of mitochondrial damage.

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Fluoroquinolones affect you on a cellular level

The point of this post is to hammer home that when you take fluoroquinolones, it deeply affects your body on a cellular level. The mitochondria, which produce energy for your cells, and their DNA are being damaged or destroyed. These medications are highly absorbable, able to easily penetrate the membranes of our cells and the membranes of our mitochondria.

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Timestamp of YouTube video

[0:00] Dr. Hugh Wegwerth

[0:30] Different classes of Antibiotics

[3:15] Mechanism of Fluoroquinolones

[4:33] Bacteria and Mitochondria are very similar

[6:04] How Fluoroquinolone affects the Mitochondria function

[6:40] The heart had the most mitochondria

[7:33] Mitochondria are loaded with DNA

[8:33] DNA in the nucleus is way safer than DNA in the mitochondria

[8:48] Fluoroquinolones don't know between bacteria and your mitochondria.

[9:45] this is why people can get all these weird symptoms because it affects the mitochondria.

[10:00] Damage in your central nervous system causes anxiety, depression, heart racing, and sweating.

[10:27] So if your DNA gets if your mitochondria get affected

[10:45] This is on the mitochondria membrane

[11:15] DNA, mitochondria, the mitochondrial DNA is making sure that those cell membranes are healthy.

[11:45] reduces ATP production, increases free radical damage, which causes more damage and cells, aged cells.

[12:30] ATP production. This mitochondria is not producing energy like this.

[12:45] mitochondria that have been damaged by

[13:15] damaged mitochondria.

[13:35] Nice, normal, healthy mitochondria.

[14:30] one little muscle fiber cell, mitochondria.

[14:45] mitochondria and affecting the DNA